It’s no secret that fans are clamoring for a sequel to Beetlejuice. It’s been nearly 30 years since the film first came out, endearing fans with its unique brand of gothic comedy.
In the years since, a sequel has stalled in development. In 1991, director Tim Burton commissioned a script for Beetlejuice Goes Hawaiian, which was later rewritten in 1993 before The Geffen Film Company announced in 1997 that the film would never be made.
Hopes were raised again in 2011 when Seth Grahame-Smith, producer and collaborator with Burton on Dark Shadows and Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, was hired to write and produce a sequel. He was adamant about bringing back the original cast, including Michael Keaton as the titular character.
It was also when Winona Ryder first heard that the project was in development. “I found out about it at a junket from a reporter,” she tells ET while promoting her new film, Experimenter -- about psychologist Stanley Milgram -- opening on Oct. 16. “I had never heard that there was going to be a sequel.”
Shortly after, Ryder began working on Frankenweenie with Burton when she told the director, “I’m in.”
While nothing has been formally announced, both Grahame-Smith and Burton have said the script was finished or nearly finished. And even though Ryder is committed, she has been in the dark and has not she seen anything official.
Of course, the actress made headlines in August when she was on Late Night With Seth Meyers. During her interview, she said she confirmed it was happening based on Burton’s own vague confirmation during an earlier Big Eyes junket. “Seth sort of cornered me, you know,” Ryder says of the late-night appearance. “He really wanted [an answer].”
In the months since, nothing formally has been announced or confirmed by Burton or The Geffen Film Company.
So what’s the latest?
“I don’t know any more than anybody else,” Ryder admits. “You know, I feel bad confirming, because who knows, Burton could do another movie first.” The director does have to direct Alice Through the Looking Glass, Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, and a live-action adaptation of Dumbo.
Winona’s co-star, Geena Davis, also doesn’t know much, but is excited about the prospect of another. "I did hear that it's really happening," the 59-year-old actress told ET. "No one's talked to me about it. I would love to! That was one of my favorite movies, too." Though, Davis warned that while ghosts don’t age, “Alec Baldwin maybe has aged, perhaps.”
As to why Ryder wants to do a sequel after all these years, she says that she still remains attached to that film and Heathers. “They come on TV and I feel like, ‘Aww,’” she says.
She is particularly fond of Beetlejuice because the role was so closely related to her. “The character was me,” Ryder says. “It was a really special movie, and I love Tim so much.”
“I hope it happens,” she says.
Flashback to when the original cast was on set of the beloved film: