I know we’ve all been on the edge of our seat for 23 years to find out what happened next, but rest easy as Warner Brothers is set not to simply remake Beetlejuice, but to “reboot it by advancing the storyline of the original.” All the answers will finally be yours.
This news comes out as part of an announced deal between the studio and partners David Katzenberg and Seth Grahame-Smith, who are the unproven duo behind Burton’s next film, Dark Shadows. You also may recognize the name Grahame-Smith as the author of Pride and Prejudice and Zombies as well as Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter. Yep, he’s the guy responsible for that whole thing.
I have a feeling these two are going to be the new Orci & Kurtzman that catch shit from the geekosphere for associating with Burton and being so innately tied to an already annoying supernatural historical fiction genre. Until enough of their work comes out and proves them as a something more than a shrewd pair of Hollywood pander-artists… I’m not really going to swing too hard against that perception. They’ve certainly landed themselves a sweet deal that could see a ton of their projects getting made. Included among them are this Beetlejuice reboot, a virginity-loss comedy called From Mia With Love, an adaptation of Grahame-Smith’s next historically revisionist book We Three Kings, a quirky-sounding office comedy called Fire Teddy, a film called Bryantology about a half-cooked tax-evasion scheme turning into a viral cult, and a stop-motion Burton-produced flick called Night of the Living.
There are fires, and they’ve got mad irons in ‘em. Fingers in pies for days, kid.
Again it’s too early to call if these guys are a burgeoning creative force or simply driven cashers-in, but I think starting out the gate with Beetlejuice Lives or whatever does not bode well. While it was a touch before my time* that was a very successful, very well-liked film that has aged into something of a time capsule. It’s certainly a lightning-in-a-bottle creative piece that seems like an awfully suspect choice to modernize. You can’t just reprocess the title or the imagery or the character and push it out– it’s less of a creative spider-web (individual pieces of which support themselves) and more of a brick wall that is constructed as a solid piece. The removal of any particular brick and the whole thing collapses… Good luck to them I suppose. Guess it can’t be any worse than the sequel they were planning following the success of the original, which would have taken the whole thing to Hawaii to end with a magic surfing contest.
Think there’s anything to be done with Beetlejuice in the modern day? Any place “the story” should go? Ideas for a Keaton replacement, or is he still vital enough to bring back? Twitter, comments below, or the message boards… give us thoughts.
Source | Deadline
* I actually grew up in the wake of Burton’s big successes with Batman, Beetlejuice, and PeeWee, so I always had a weird perception of the filmmaker from my childhood on. Something about him being the last massive creative phenomenon that I didn’t get to experience for myself and yet the repercussions of which I was surrounded by. I only started paying a lot of attention after his movies had started going sour. And as for Batman, which was a huge part of my childhood, I was always much more enamored with the post-Burton series than the original ’89 film itself.