Michael Keaton Reflects on Reprising Iconic Role in ‘Beetlejuice’ Sequel

Michael Keaton Reflects on Reprising Iconic Role in 'Beetlejuice' Sequel

After over 30 years away from the character, Michael Keaton had some reservations about reprising his role as Beetlejuice for Tim Burton’s upcoming sequel, Beetlejuice, Beetlejuice.

“There’s been so much merchandising of it, I had to drop back to where it started,” Keaton told Empire. “I had to go, ‘What was my unusual imagination even thinking about when I was developing it in the first place?’ As opposed to seeing a coffee mug or a golf-club cover [adorned with Betelgeuse’s face].”

The character, once a quirky creation of his imagination, has become iconic in Tim Burton’s filmography and in cinema at large.

“The ubiquity of Beetlejuice as a character in the culture created its own challenges. That was fucking weird,” Keaton admitted to Empire. “To be honest with you – I’m being very frank – it was off-putting, to look and go, ‘I don’t want to look like all these little things, fuck that – what was the thing that started this?’”

Burton and Keaton’s co-stars believe he has rediscovered the essence of the character.

“It was like he was possessed by a demon, because he just went right back into it,” said Burton. “It was insane,” recalled Catherine O’Hara. “Insane.” Jenna Ortega described it vividly: “It was like an animal with a gun had just walked into the room. To watch him physically change and appear and Michael Keaton to be gone, and for me to be dealing with this Beetlejuice guy…It blew my mind.”

Keaton, at least, is thrilled with the film.

“I love it,” he said. “I absolutely love this thing. And I don’t [usually] talk like that. I unabashedly love this. It was not easy to pull off, and I think we did it in spades.”

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