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Beetlejuice 2 : Where did it go, WB?

Have the studio and Tim Burton given up the ghost (with the most)?

Caffeinated Clint

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A sequel to Tim Burton’s hit horror-comedy “Beetlejuice” (1988) has been in the works longer than, well, Michael Keaton hasn’t had to put his curlers in at night. Hindrance and a lack of studio fervour might now have waned the filmmaker’s interest in doing it at all.

Warner Bros nearly pressed go on a sequel in the early ‘90s with the Jonathan Gems -penned “Beetlejuice goes Hawaiian” which would apparently be set in the tropics with the undead soaring the waves, dancing the limbo, and controlling the beaches.

The script saw the Deetz family moving to Hawaii, where Charles (Jeffrey Jones) is developing a resort. Soon enough the twice-unlucky clan discover they’re building on top of an old ancient Hawaiian Kahuna’s burial ground. Warner Bros had only approached Michael Keaton and Winona Ryder about reprising their roles from the original film.

Michael McDowell, who wrote the very first draft of the 1988 film, also took a stab at writing a sequel around that time.

In more recent years, the studio revisited the idea tapping genre regulars Seth Grahame-Smith and David Katzenberg of KatzSmith Productions to weave some magic.

Grahame-Smith said the biggest challenge was trying to come up with a script and story that was worth doing.

“Look, there’s a desire, a real desire from Mr. [Michael] Keaton to come back and do it; there’s certainly a real desire on the part of Warner Bros”, he told Collider. “Tim is amenable, he’s going to produce it with us if it goes, but he’s not opposed to the idea, he likes the idea in concept. It’s just, “Can I crack the story?””

Whatever the duo presented (they took a stab at writing it, then later Mike Vukadinovich, of “Marvel’s Runaways”, was working on it), it seemingly didn’t put Warner Bros under any kind of spell.
While lesser, unwarranted sequels continue to get up, the “Bettlejuice 2” engine just won’t crank over. Shame, because everyone involved in that original film is seemingly keen to do it.

Tim Burton said in 2015 that it was closing in on a greenlight, “It’s a character that I love and I miss and I miss actually working with Michael. There’s only one Betelgeuse. We’re working on a script and I think it’s probably closer than ever and I’d love to work with him again.”

“At one point, I had the conversation with Tim, saying “I love this movie so much; I think there’s one more in there somewhere”, star Michael Keaton told JoBlo in a 2005 interview. “And we both talked about it, and I think there was a script written once years ago that wasn’t quite it. I would consider that, yeah, a lot. I would seriously consider that.”
In 2015, Winona Ryder even suggested it was as good as ‘on’.

“I think I can confirm it because Tim Burton did this interview. It was very hush-hush, top secret, ‘I don’t know what may happen, I don’t know,’ and then he was doing some press for Big Eyes and he did an on-camera interview and he said, ‘Oh yeah, we’re doing it and Winona’s gonna be in it.’ So can I say…? I mean if he said it. But I really don’t know much more than anybody else.”

Out stumping “Accidents Happen” in 2010, Geena Davis told Moviehole she’d love to see a sequel come to fruition.

The actress, who played one-half of the recently-departed Maitland outfit (Alec Baldwin playing her hubby), says she’d be definitely keen to tap into her, er, ‘spiritual’ side again.

“It’s funny, [another journalist] just asked me about a sequel to Beetlejuice – which, though I haven’t heard anything about it, might be interesting”, Davis told me yesterday. “I would do that!”.
“Thing is, do ghosts age?”, asks Davis. “Wouldn’t we be stuck in the age we were? Alec [Baldwin] and I would have to look as we did then – who knows, maybe we could? I better get in touch with Tim Burton”.

Speaking on the press trail for his live-action take on “Dumbo” (the middling B.O figures of which won’t help the case for a “Beetlejuice” sequel), Burton was asked by USA Today for an update on the project.

Unfortunately, it’s not good.

‘So, what’s happening on it?’

“Nothing, nothing”, said Burton, adding that he doubts the movie will ever happen.

A Warner Bros spokesperson reiterated that, confirming that the movie – unlike, say, surprising WB sequels like “Lethal Weapon 5” and “Edge of Tomorrow 2”, which are – isn’t in active development.

Larry Wilson, one of the writers on the original film, says the proposed sequel has been on and off more times than Pamela Anderson and Tommy Lee.

“The bottom line is Tim Burton and Michael Keaton are not going to think about a ‘Beetlejuice’ sequel unless it somehow catches the energy of the first film. And that’s not easy,” says Wilson. ” ‘Beetlejuice’ really was lightning in a bottle. But there have been discussions since it really shocked everyone in 1988. And in terms of ‘Beetlejuice Goes Hawaiian,’ wiser heads prevailed. Thank God there’s a level of integrity here.”

Wilson said all eyes will be on the upcoming Broadway version of “Beetlejuice” and suggests that if it’s successful, the powers-that-be might look at the sequel idea again.

It’s not looking good, I gotta say, but with Warners sequelizing or rebooting so many, some might say lesser, comedies of the ‘80s – like “Police Academy”, “Spies Like Us” and “Wildcats” – it’s a wonder they’re not trying harder to make this happen? Is it because, as Seth Grahame-Smith said, everyone went cold on the idea because they couldn’t come up with a story as good as that of the original? Maybe.

Movie News

Michael Biehn officially reprising Aliens‘ Corporal Hicks!

Ever wondered what William Gibson’s script was all about?

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Exciting news for those aching for some sort of chestbuster fix. An unused script for “Alien 3”, penned by William Gibson of ‘Neuromancer’ fame, is being turned into an audiobook by Audible. Furthermore, it’ll feature Michael Biehn as ‘Hicks’, reprising – if even only in voice – his fanboy favorite from the 1986 classic “Aliens”.

Though an “Alien 3” (1992) exists, the David Fincher-directed film is – I think it’s fair to say – one of the most disappointing sequels in cinemadom. Killing off Newt and Hicks before within the opening minutes of the film, and consequently going on to tell a reasonable but hardly captivating tale that sees Ripley teaming up with prisoners to escape the old bitch again, it’s a much maligned bit of art.

So, what could have been?

You can find out in the audiobook – and the Dark Horse comic that also features Gibson’s storyline -which, though undated, will likely hit before mid-year.

There’s still a shot that Biehn might get to reprise Hicks on the big screen too. A script by Neil Blomkamp, that re-teams Sigourney Weaver’s Ripley and Biehn’s Hicks, and is set directly after the events of James Cameron’s 1986 film, is doing the rounds. Though Fox insitially passed on doing the film, Cameron’s enthusiasm for it has reportedly popped it back into the ‘consideration’ pile.

Meanwhile, here’s the blurb for Gibson’s “Alien 3” audiobook :

This terrifying, cinematic multicast dramatisation – directed by the multi award-winning Dirk Maggs, is the chance to experience William Gibson’s untold story and its terrifying, claustrophobic and dark encounters between humans and aliens, as a completely immersive audio experience.
The story begins with the Sulaco on its return journey from LV-426. On board the military ship are the cryogenically frozen skeleton crew of that film’s survivors: Ripley, Hicks, Newt and Bishop.
We travel aboard and hear an alarm blare. Our heroes are no longer alone….

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Tucker and Dale Vs. Evil sequel!? Yes, please!

Cult horror-comedy has been the subject of sequel conversations for years!

Caffeinated Clint

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If there’s a red neck god, please let his squirrel stew cough up a sequel to this beast.

Cult horror-dy “Tucker and Dale vs. Evil” has been the subject of sequel conversations – usually exclusively by us fans – for about a decade now, but according to one of the films stars, the enthusiasm for more has spread to the cast.

Broke Horror Fan got the 411 one from Tyler Labine (aka Dale) who reveals that a sequel might finally be on the way – – it just mightn’t be available from your local Redbox.

“We’re working on something right now. I wouldn’t call it a film sequel, but the story is not done being told. I can’t really tell you much, but we’re in development with a couple things right now. Things are looking pretty good. Alan [Tudyk, who played Tucker] and I are both still on board, along with [original director] Eli [Craig]. We’re just trying to line up a few pieces. It’s just a matter of timing. We’re going to get something to the fans, because that’s really the only reason we want to do it. No one’s getting rich off this thing. Alan and I have always been like, ‘Whatever we do has to be for the people that stuck with it and made it what it is.’ That’s all the fans. Hopefully something will come to fruition.”

Cable TV show, maybe? They are all the rage, after all. Or maybe it’s a spiritual sequel – with the same cast and crew – ya know, something like “Ben and Davo Go Lawn Bowling… with Ghouls?”
Whatever the case, my thumb is up.

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Kate Beckinsale to star in new actioner from Expendables producers

Millennium Media’s first film with a female lead, director and producer

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Kate Beckinsale will headline a new action-comedy for Millennium Media.

The Tanya Wexler-helmed film will be the outfit’s first film with a female lead, director and producer.

The Scott Wascha-penned “Jolt” follows Lindy, a badass bouncer with a slightly murderous anger-management problem that she controls with the help of an electrode-lined vest she uses to shock herself back to normalcy whenever she gets homicidal. After the first guy she’s ever fallen for is murdered, she goes on a revenge-fueled rampage to find the killer while the cops pursue her as their chief suspect.

Production is due to begin in July in the UK and Sofia, Bulgaria.

“Jolt is a kick-ass and painfully funny script,” Wexler said. “When I saw that Kate Beckinsale was attached to play the lead, I jumped at the opportunity to make the movie. This is the movie for right now — a revenge-action film for every woman (and man) who wants to turn their inner ‘Thelma & Louise’ up to 11.”

Via ‘Deadline

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