WTF: Now Tim Burton Says BEETLEJUICE 2 Isn't in Development
Earlier this morning, we wrote about how director Tim Burton told a site called ShowbizSpy that the long-brewing Beetlejuice 2 "is a go and has been approved by the Warner Bros. team," seemingly taking fans one step closer to seeing a sequel to the 1988 comedy. But now Burton's rep is claiming that the filmmaker never gave a statement to ShowbizSpy, and not only that, but that the film is not even in development.
The Independent reached out to Burton's rep and came back with this:
"It turns out those eagerly anticipating a Beetlejuice sequel are having to wait a while longer; we received word from Tim Burton's spokesperson who said the following: "I rep Tim Burton and wanted to let you know that Tim did not provide a statement to confirm Beetlejuice 2 as the movie is not in development. Tim’s focus is entirely on Miss Peregrine's Home For Peculiar Children and developing Dumbo."
Is it possible that Burton's rep misspoke when they said that the sequel wasn't in development? Sure, but it seems like a representative for a filmmaker would have learned to be pretty specific when it comes to language and industry terms when releasing statements on his behalf. The thing is, we know that the film actually is — or, at least, was — in active development, because writers have been hired to write the screenplay, and Burton, Michael Keaton, and Winona Ryder have all openly talked about making the movie at one point or another. Has the whole project been scrapped altogether?
ShowbizSpy has updated their initial report from this morning to look like this:
[UPDATE] – A rep has gotten in contact with us and stated “Tim Burton did not confirm Beetlejuice 2 as the movie is not in development. Tim’s focus is entirely on Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children set for a September 30 2016 release and developing Dumbo“. That is all fine and we complied with the reps request to post their comment, however we did not say it was in development. We would also like to note that Warner Bros. hired writers David Katzenberg and Seth Grahame-Smith to work on a sequel, and over the past year, both Ryder and Keaton have confirmed their participation according to Variety. So, it would seem there is something fishy going on here.
So...did they just make up that quote out of thin air? Possible. Also possible: Burton rescinded it, or maybe he spoke out of turn, or pissed someone off at Warner Bros. who wanted to contain this for some bureaucratic reason. Either way, it sounds like the movie that fans were so eager to see go into production is actually still far from the starting line.
Here's the weird part about all of this: I actually think it's good news that a sequel isn't in the works, because the original works fine by itself and the idea of resurrecting a movie or TV show years after its prime has had extremely mixed results recently. I haven't read the script, but I can't imagine there's any reason Beetlejuice 2 needs to exist other than to capitalize on the name recognition; I find it hard to believe there are going to be any themes or ideas in it that Burton couldn't explore in a different movie.
What do you think? Is Beetlejuice 2 really dead in the water, or do you think we'll eventually see it on the big screen one day?