michael keaton as Beetlejuice looking scary in 'Beetlejuice'.

‘Beetlejuice 2’ Finally Got Me With These New Casting Announcements

Beetlejuice 2 has been, oddly enough, a thorn in my side, mainly because I don’t want them to touch the movie because I wasn’t the biggest fan of the Broadway musical. I just don’t think the magic of Beetlejuice can easily be replicated, and part of the charm comes from Michael Keaton’s performance mixed with a time in history when Alec Baldwin was actually fun to watch.

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So, a second movie just feels like trying to capitalize on our love for something near and dear to our hearts, and for the most part, I haven’t been that interested in it—and then the casting announcements started and I’ve find myself stuck in a feeling. That feeling? Well, sort of feels like I’m excited for this all of a sudden.

News broke that Willem Dafoe would be joining the sequel as a dead cop. This follows up with the news that Monica Bellucci would be joining the cast as Beetlejuice’s wife. And honestly, if you wanted me to be invested in this sequel, that’s really all you had to do. The minute they said that Keaton was coming back, I was cautiously optimistic, but Dafoe AND Bellucci? They knew exactly what they needed to do to get fans in seats—and it was to say his name three times. “Dafoe, Dafoe, Dafoe,” and “Keaton, Keaton, Keaton.”

The movie also has Jenna Ortega playing the daughter of Winona Ryder’s Lydia, with Justin Theroux joining the cast in an unknown role. All of this has made me cautiously optimistic though, because this sequel has to do a lot of work to make me as excited as I am rewatching Michael Keaton be his ghouly self in the original. But all of these new additions do have my interest piqued way more than it was beforehand.

If you add Willem Dafoe … I’m there

On the one hand, I think we need to stop relying so heavily on nostalgia in our film and television worlds, because there are original ideas that deserve to be made, but we’re bogged down by returning to things instead. But on the other hand, I love Michael Keaton and his roles, so if he wants to come back as Batman and Beetlejuice within the same decade, I’m more than happy to sit down with my Buncha Crunch and enjoy it.

But adding Willem Dafoe is such a good choice for something like this that it just really works. Bellucci’s addition to Keaton’s energy is going to be iconic all on its own, but having two Spider-Man villains in a Tim Burton movie feels like a dream come true to me. To be fair, though, I’d watch anything both Keaton and Dafoe chose to do, so it is just nice that it’s a sequel to a movie I genuinely love.

So for now, I’m somewhat excited about this movie I was incredibly nervous about. And this is just proof that casting really can make a world of difference for someone’s excitement level, because I think that Ortega and Dafoe are going to have great energy together.

(featured image: Warner Bros.)


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Rachel Leishman
Rachel Leishman (She/Her) is an Assistant Editor at the Mary Sue. She's been a writer professionally since 2016 but was always obsessed with movies and television and writing about them growing up. A lover of Spider-Man and Wanda Maximoff's biggest defender, she has interests in all things nerdy and a cat named Benjamin Wyatt the cat. If you want to talk classic rock music or all things Harrison Ford, she's your girl but her interests span far and wide. Yes, she knows she looks like Florence Pugh. She has multiple podcasts, normally has opinions on any bit of pop culture, and can tell you can actors entire filmography off the top of her head. Her work at the Mary Sue often includes Star Wars, Marvel, DC, movie reviews, and interviews.