13 Fun Facts About BEETLEJUICE
With a Beetlejuice sequel getting closer and closer to actually becoming a reality, I've been inspired to put together a list of fun facts you might not know about the original 1988 Tim Burton film. Burton and Michael Keaton seemed to have a great professional relationship back in the day, and I would love to see them work together again on some kind of film project in the future. Beetlejuice was such an amazingly great movie, filled with all kinds of crazed amusement. It’s easily one of my favorite movies to come out of the 80s, and Keaton has stated that it’s his favorite movie of the all the ones he’s made.
- Keaton only spent two weeks shooting his part in the film. Out of the 92-minute feature he only has 17.5 minutes of screen time.
- The original script was more of horror film, and Beetlejuice was a winged, reptilian demon who transformed into a small Middle Eastern man to interact with the Maitlands and the Deetzes. Lydia was a minor character, who had a six-year-old sister named Cathy. Cathy was the kid who was able to see the Maitlands, not Lydia. The goal of Beetlejuice was initially to kill the Deetzes instead of scare them away. It included scenes where he mauled Cathy in the form of a rabid squirrel and tried to rape Lydia. Damn! That would have been interesting.
- Keaton said that his character was described to him by Burton as "having lived in every time period but no time period." Keaton used this info to create the character that features a crazy hairdo, mold makeup, and large teeth. He said that when he first showed up to the set as Betelgeuse the crew was chanting, "Juice, Juice, Juice." This inspired Keaton to do a lot of improvisation during filming.
- The studio didn't like the title of Beetlejuice, and they wanted to call the film "House Ghosts." Burton suggested the name "Scared Sheetless" as a joke, and was shocked when the studio actually considered using it.
- In the wedding scene, Lydia's dress is bright red. According to the old rhyme about wedding dress colors, it's "Married in red, better off dead."
- When Adam and Barbara are in the after-world office, there’s a voice on the PA system that announces the arrival of Flight 409: ”Flight 409 is arriving at Gate 3." That’s based on a true event that took place on October 6th, 1955. United Airlines Flight 409 crashed into a mountain over Wyoming, killing everyone on board. It was the worst crash in history to that point. No one knows why it crashed. Kind of morbid, now that I think about it.
- The snake scene in the movie was filmed before Keaton was cast, and the animatronic snake that was used had no kind of resemblance to the actor. After Keaton joined the movie, they reshot the scene with a stop-motion snake that looked more like Betelgeuse.
- During the sequence in which Adam and Barbara enter Juno's office, where she is talking to the dead football team, there’s a movie theater full of ghosts that can be seen through Juno's office window. The scene was suppose to create the illusion that the audience members who were watching the movie in theaters were being watched by the ghosts. Among the ghosts in the audience are a red skeleton and a green skeleton, a woman with red hair, and two men in suits and Ray-Ban style sunglasses.
- After the success of the movie, the studio planned a sequel called Beetlejuice Goes Hawaiian. A script was commissioned and Keaton and Winona Ryder both signed on to reprise their roles. Burton ended up losing interest in the project, and went on to direct Batman in 1989. In the proposed sequel, the “Deetz family moves to Hawaii to develop a resort. Construction begins, and it’s quickly discovered that the hotel will be sitting on top of an ancient burial ground. Beetlejuice comes in to save the day.” Hopefully the upcoming sequel is not Beetlejuice Goes Hawaiian.
- Even though the film was rated PG in a PG-13 era, it contained the F-word once. Other PG films that include the F-word are 1987's Spaceballs, 1988's Big, and 1988's Caddyshack II.
- Burton originally wanted Sammy Davis Jr. to take on the role of Betelgeuse, but studio executives didn't like that idea. Davis Jr. had been a favorite star of the director's since childhood.
- Juliette Lewis, Lori Loughlin, Diane Lane, Sarah Jessica Parker, Brooke Shields, Justine Bateman, Molly Ringwald, and Jennifer Connelly all turned down the role of Lydia.
- At the dinner party, Otho says that people who commit suicide end up as "civil servants" in the afterlife. The character Miss Argentina, who was played by Patrice Martinez, apparently slit her wrists, which confirms Otho's statement - she's spending her death as the receptionist. Also in the back room as the Maitlands are being led to their door, there is another man hanging from his noose, and the man aiding them obviously stepped in front of a bus.
Below you'll find an original trailer for the film, along with a behind the scenes video that shows off a lot of the production art work. There's no sound to it, but it's still cool to watch.