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Exclusive: Seth Grahame-Smith Updates Us on 'Beetlejuice 2'


Everyone whines about sequels and remakes. But what if you could get an actual legitimate sequel to Beetlejuice? One directed by Tim Burton, and starring Michael Keaton? Seth Grahame-Smith, author of Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Hunter and scribe of Burton's newest film, Dark Shadows, understands the fear that fans feel when the subject comes up - he is a fan too. We chatted with Seth, who told us what he can about the project, and why he is putting our nerves at ease.

Dark Shadows has this Beetlejuice vibe going for it. So of course, I want to know: where will you take Beetlejuice?

All I know at this point is everyone is waiting for me. It's in my court right now, in terms of getting a story together that gets Tim and gets Michael [Keaton] interested. One thing I have said repeatedly, and I will say it to you, is that nothing would be worse than to be the guy who ruined one of my favorite movies by making a shitty sequel. I know in some of my fiction, I tread on hallowed ground, but this is not something I am going into lightly. It is not something that is worth making just because we can make it. It has to be worthy.

It would be Michael as Beetlejuice; no one else. It would not be a reboot or a remake; it would be an actual sequel. And the number of years between the two films would be the number of years that pass between the two stories. That said, I am interested in getting more of the people from the original film back in some form or another, but right now I am working on several shapes of the story. If one of them is the one that gets everyone super-excited, then that's the one I will write the script for.

Have you talked to Winona Ryder yet?

No, I haven't talked to her yet. The only people I've talked to directly about it are Warner Bros., Tim Burton, and Michael Keaton. We've all met about it; we've all talked, and we are all in the same place. In theory, it would be great, but the story has to be really killer.

I applaud that. And I appreciate a sequel instead of a reboot. A reboot just seems lazy.

I call it The Son of the Mask principle. Don't make a sequel without your original star, and don't do something just because it is commercially appealing. Do something because it has some artistic merit, and because it has a reason for being, other than just cashing in on someone's favorite movie.