Festivals - Mostra Venice 2024: Beetlejuice Beetlejuice to open 81st edition

By Mulder, 02 july 2024

The Venice Film Festival has announced its opening film: Tim Burton's Beetlejuice will open the 81st Venice Film Festival (August 28 to September 7), out of competition. The sequel to the 1988 cult fantasy comedy will feature a stellar cast including Michael Keaton, Winona Ryder, Catherine O'Hara, Justin Theroux, Monica Bellucci, Jenna Ortega and Willem Dafoe. Distributed worldwide by Warner Bros. Pictures worldwide, the feature will be released in French cinemas on September 11.

Beetlejuice Beetlejuice is the long-awaited sequel to Tim Burton's iconic 1988 horror fantasy comedy. Directed by Burton himself and written by Alfred Gough and Miles Millar, the sequel is set to blend the sinister charm of the original with fresh comic elements, promising a unique cinematic experience.

Michael Keaton as the eponymous Betelgeuse, Winona Ryder as Lydia Deetz and Catherine O'Hara as Delia Deetz reprise their beloved roles. They are joined by an array of new faces, including Jenna Ortega as Lydia's daughter, Astrid Deetz, Justin Theroux, Monica Bellucci as Betelgeuse's wife, and Willem Dafoe in a captivating role as a ghost detective. This sequel promises to bring generations of fans closer together, thanks to its mix of original cast members and new talent.

The development of Beetlejuice Beetlejuice has been a meandering journey, with Tim Burton first exploring ideas for a sequel shortly after the release of the first film. Despite several iterations of the script and potential storylines - including the eccentric Beetlejuice Goes Hawaiian - the project struggled to find its feet until recent years. As a testament to Burton's dedication and creative vision, the sequel finally began to take shape with the involvement of Seth Grahame-Smith, leading to an officially announced 2022 sequel, produced by Brad Pitt's Plan B Entertainment alongside Warner Bros.

Tim Burton, known for his style and storytelling, has stressed the importance of staying true to the essence of the original while introducing new elements to keep the story fresh and captivating. The sequel aims to honor the legacy of the first film, set some 27 years later, by drawing on the timeless nature of life after death to explore new narratives.

Filming began in May 2023, during a difficult period for the industry, including the 2023 WGA and SAG-AFTRA strikes, but was completed in November of the same year. Production took place in a variety of locations, including London and the picturesque town of East Corinth, Vermont, which echoes the setting of the original film.

After a terrible tragedy, the Deetz family returns to Winter River. Still haunted by the memory of Beetlejuice, Lydia's life is turned upside down when her rebellious teenage daughter Astrid accidentally opens a portal to the Beyond. With chaos hovering over both worlds, it's only a matter of time before someone utters Beetlejuice's name three times and the prankster demon returns to wreak havoc.

Beetlejuice Beetlejuice
Directed by Tim Burton
Written by Alfred Gough, Miles Millar
Story by Alfred Gough, Miles Millar, Seth Grahame-Smith
Based on the characters by Michael McDowell and Larry Wilson
Produced by Marc Toberoff, Dede Gardner, Jeremy Kleiner, Tommy Harper, Tim Burton
With Michael Keaton, Winona Ryder, Catherine O'Hara, Justin Theroux, Monica Bellucci, Arthur Conti, Jenna Ortega, Willem Dafoe
Director of photography : Haris Zambarloukos
Editing : Jay Prychidny
Music: Danny Elfman
Production companies: Plan B Entertainment, Tim Burton Productions
Distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures
Release date: September 6, 2024 (U.S.), September 11, 2024 (France)

Photos: Copyright Warner Bros Pictures