Official: Michael Keaton Breaks Silence on ‘Beetlejuice’ Departure

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An image of beetlejuice, a character with messy hair and eerie white face makeup, standing in a dark, twig-filled background. his expression is wild and mischievous.

Credit: Warner Bros. Pictures

In the wake of an upcoming sequel, Michael Keaton recently spoke out on what many believe to be his most iconic character: Beetlejuice.

Beetlejuice (1988), directed by Tim Burton, is one of the most memorable and beloved films of the late 20th century, a standout in the genre of dark comedy.

A person in a black and white striped suit with wild hair and dark eye makeup stands in a green-lit room, reminiscent of Tim Burton's Beetlejuice. They look mischievous with hands slightly raised, surrounded by various objects and structures that add to the eerie atmosphere, as if from spooky vintage footage.
Credit: Warner Bros.

The film’s unique blend of macabre humor and whimsical fantasy set it apart from other movies of its time, making it a cult classic that continues to enchant audiences. Michael Keaton’s portrayal of Betelgeuse, the mischievous and chaotic ghost, was a pivotal factor in the film’s success, showcasing his extraordinary range as an actor.

Alongside Keaton, the film featured a stellar cast including Winona Ryder, Alec Baldwin, and Geena Davis, each contributing to the film’s enduring appeal.

The story of Beetlejuice revolves around a recently deceased couple who hired Betelgeuse to scare away the new inhabitants of their former home. The film’s imaginative and visually striking approach, combined with its offbeat humor, quickly cemented its place in popular culture.

Michael Keaton in Beetlejuice
Credit: Warner Bros

The character of Betelgeuse, with his striped suit and wild hair, became an iconic figure, and the film’s success led to a surge of merchandise, from action figures to Halloween costumes, and even a successful Broadway adaptation. The influence of Beetlejuice is evident in its continued relevance and the fond nostalgia it evokes among fans.

Now, after more than three decades, the world is eagerly awaiting the return of Betelgeuse in the upcoming sequel, Beetlejuice Beetlejuice. Michael Keaton, reprising his role as the infamous ghost, recently spoke to Empire Magazine about the “surreal” process of returning to this beloved character.

Keaton, who brought the iconic character to life with his energetic and eccentric performance in the original film, expressed that he had to look past the extensive commercialization and widespread cultural imprint of his character to find the quirky, original source ahead of filming the sequel.

Michael Keaton in 'Beetlejuice' (1988)
Credit: Warner Bros.

“There’s been so much merchandising of it, I had to drop back to where it started,” Keaton explained. “I had to go, ‘What was my unusual imagination even thinking about when I was developing it in the first place?’ As opposed to seeing a coffee mug or a golf club cover [featuring Beetlejuice’s face].”

Reflecting on the experience of seeing his character become a mainstream icon and his departure from the “niche” category to a cultural phenomenon, Keaton had some pointed words.

“To be honest with you — I’m being very frank — it was off-putting, to look and go, ‘I don’t want to look like all these little things, f*** that — what was the thing that started this?'” he added.

Despite the challenges, Keaton believes he has successfully recaptured the essence of Betelgeuse for Tim Burton’s sequel, which is due out on September 6. “I love it,” he said of the new movie. “I absolutely love this thing. And I don’t [usually] talk like that. I unabashedly love this. It was not easy to pull off, and I think we did it in spades.”

Keaton’s enthusiasm for the sequel suggests that fans of the original film can expect a return to the inventive and entertaining spirit that made Beetlejuice a classic. The Hollywood Reporter confirms that this long-awaited sequel will bring back the quirky charm and chaotic energy that fans have cherished for years.

Alongside Michael Keaton, the sequel features an ensemble cast that includes Winona Ryder, Jenna Ortega, Monica Bellucci, Willem Dafoe, Catherine O’Hara, and Justin Theroux.

Inside the Magic will keep you updated on the latest coming out of Beetlejuice.

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