One of the hottest trends right now in Hollywood is remakes and sequels to some beloved films and franchises. Just the other day a sequel to Freaky Friday starring Jamie Lee Curtis and Lindsay Lohan is in the works, a cherished film from my childhood. These films play on the nostalgic factor, which the studios hope translates into huge box office numbers. Another film that is actively in development is Beetlejuice 2, a sequel to the 1988 cult classic directed by Tim Burton and starring Michael Keaton as the demon with a funny bone.
Little is known about the upcoming film, with the exception that a few familiar faces from the original are returning, with some new blood mixed in. Tim Burton is returning to helm this film, along with Michael Keaton as Beetlejuice and Winona Ryder as Lydia Deetz. Joining them is Jenna Ortega, Hollywood’s newest love, playing Lydia’s unnamed daughter.
Joining this main core are Justin Theroux and Willem Dafoe, both in roles that are currently unknown. With information so scarce and production expected to start on May 10 in London, fans of the franchise are looking for any clues as to what to expect. I’m excited to share with you just a bit of information we’ve discovered about the upcoming Beetlejuice sequel.
Beetlejuice 2’s working title has us dreaming of a beach vacation
As is typical for most productions ramping up, working titles are used to help make filming easier. Most projects use W/T on location to disguise what’s filming and deter people not associated with the production from disturbing the creative process.
When Beetlejuice 2 finally kicks off with its production, we have learned through our sources that the working title will be “Blue Hawaii”. So why would they use this specific working title? What about Blue Hawaii is significant to the story? Perhaps at first glance, there isn’t much of a connection, however with a bit of sleuthing it appears it may be tied to the behind-the-scenes history of the franchise.
Blue Hawaii might be more than a drink
Initially, when I heard about this working title, my mind went to the drink. A Blue Hawaii is typically made with rum and features a healthy dose of pineapple juice. With Beetlejuice 2 using Blue Hawaii as its working title, I thought perhaps it was just a tongue-in-cheek reference between the juice of the drink and part of Beetlejuice’s name. However, perhaps there’s another layer to this tropical reference, other than the fruity drink.
Looking further into it, it turns out there was a sequel called Beetlejuice Goes Hawaiian developed years previously. The story was to feature the Deetz family moving to Hawaii to develop a vacation paradise on what is unknowingly an ancient burial ground. Cue Beetlejuice, who awakens the spirits trapped in the burial ground, causing destruction, and hilarious high jinks ensue. Unfortunately, the sequel was scrapped, with Warner Brothers instead focusing on a Batman sequel, which also stars Keaton and is directed by Burton. (see article via Screenrant)
Is it possible that Blue Hawaii is just a fun reference to the sequel that almost was? Surely so, it seems like those involved in Beetlejuice 2’s production are calling back to a sequel that almost was. However, what if the upcoming sequel is once again based on this idea, once passed up by WB?
Could Winona Ryder’s now-grown Lydia Deetz and her family make the move to Hawaii, hoping to start over with a clean slate? But then they discover their home or business on the island is built over a burial ground or have otherwise angry spirits there. Perhaps a more interesting twist though would be for Lydia and her family to call on Beetlejuice to help disperse the vengeful spirits. Who else but the demon who ruined your childhood to help you set your new life right?
With little else information to go on and filming not quite started, all we can do is speculate about what’s to come in Beetlejuice 2. But whatever is to come is sure to be a blast.
Beetlejuice 2 is expected in theaters on September 6, 2024. What are your thoughts on the working title Blue Hawaii? Let us know on Twitter or the Cosmic Circus Discord. And if you haven’t already, check out our review of Beetlejuice the Musical!
Review: Beetlejuice the Musical