Tim Burton's BEETLEJUICE Originally Had a Much Darker Ending
Tim Burton's 1998 film Beetlejuice is such a great movie. But it was also such a different and crazy far-out idea, I'm surprised that it actually got made! The only person that would have been able to get away with it was Tim Burton and it also ended up being one of Michael Keaton's greatest roles.
According to Larry Wilson, who was the creator of the story and co-writer of Beetlejuice, the movie almost had a completely different ending that would have been so much darker and morbid.
In the original ending Lydia (Winona Ryder) comes home from school with good grades and does a little floating dance number thanks to the help of resident ghosts Adam Maitland (Alec Baldwin) and Barbara Maitland (Alec Baldwin and Geena Davis). It was a happy ending! You can watch here if you want:
As for the original ending, well... here's what Wilson said they had in mind during an interview with Yahoo:
"Our first ending was Lydia — she died in a fire and was able to join Barbara and Adam in the afterlife. A couple of people said to us, 'Do you really think that’s a good idea? Is that really the message you want to be sending to the teenagers of the world? Die in a fire?' So, yeah, it probably was darker."
Although that ending is something that I would have expected from the creative team and it would have worked for the story. I think the happy ending was the way to go.
Below you will find a video of Wilson sharing a few other things about Beetlejuice that you might not have been aware of. Those include how the original title was House Ghost; there was a main character who was cut out; Groucho Marx was the inspiration for the character; and details on the Hawaiian-themed sequel that never happened.
What do you think about the original ending for Beetlejuice?