‘Beetlejuice 2’ Wraps Filming, Willem Dafoe’s Character Revealed

Filming has reportedly wrapped on next year’s all-star Halloween-set Beetlejuice 2, and the first details have emerged about one of the new characters that will be introduced in the highly anticipated sequel to the 1988 horror comedy classic Tim Burton movie.

Burton reunites with Michael Keaton, back to reprise his role as the title character, and Jenna Ortega (Wednesday, Scream, Scream VI, X), also leading the cast as Lydia’s daughter.

Principal shooting was nearly complete just before the SAG-AFTRA actors’ strike began, as set photos revealed that the movie will take place during Halloween, and Tim Burton was even quoted during strike saying that only less than two days of filming was left to be done before the project could move into post-production.

“I feel grateful we got what we got,” Burton told The Independent in September. “Literally, it was a day and a half [left to shoot]. We know what we have to do. It is 99% done.”

The director continues, “On this last one, Beetlejuice 2, I really enjoyed it. I tried to strip everything and go back to the basics of working with good people and actors and puppets. It was kind of like going back to why I liked making movies.”

Filming did resume just days after the strike ended on November 9, with Jenna Ortega and Tim Burton spotted back on set, this time shooting in Melrose, Massachusetts, which was again decorated for Halloween. Filming wrapped on November 17, according to Boston’s Wicked North Shore.

UPDATE: Burton confirmed that filming has officially wrapped in an Instagram post from the afterlife waiting room today, which you can see below.

Luna Moon Gothic documented much of the production prior to the strike, sharing photos from as close as they are permitted to get to the exterior sets in East Corinth, Vermont. You can view some of their photos below and see more here.

Keaton previously told Empire in June that Burton was prioritizing practical effects on the sequel, just like how they did it on the original.

“Beetlejuice is the most fuckin’ fun you can have working,” Keaton said. “It’s so fun, it’s so great. And you know what it is? We’re doing it exactly like we did the first movie. There’s a woman in the great waiting room for the afterlife literally with a fishing line – I want people to know this because I love it – tugging on the tail of a cat to make it move. It has to be done as close to the way we made it the first time. Making stuff up, making stuff happen, improvising and riffing, but literally handmade stuff like people creating things with their hands and building something. Fuckin’ great. It’s the most fun I’ve had working on a movie in I can’t tell you how long.

 The new film’s cinematographer, Haris Zambarloukos, spoke to The Wrap in August about working on Kenneth Branagh’s A Haunting in Venice and provided even more tasty teases of what we can expect in Beetlejuice 2. “Both Kenneth and Tim, in these two stories wanted to work in-camera,” Zambarloukos said. “On Haunting in Venice we built a miniature house, a palazzo, and did it to scale. That’s how we got some of the angles we couldn’t get in real Venice. With Tim we’re working with Neal Scanlan, his puppeteer for many films.”

“At its heart, Beetlejuice [2] is a story about a family. And now it’s 30 years later, and what are the intricacies and the human condition in keeping a family together all that time set in the craziest world possible? That’s why I choose projects. That human connection for me is always at the forefront.”

While Keaton reprises the title role, and Winona Ryder is also back as Lydia Deetz, the central character she played in the first movie, and Catherine O’Hara returns as Lydia’s mom, Delia Deetz. Jenna Ortega will play Lydia’s daughter in the sequel. The cast also includes Monica Bellucci, Justin Theroux, and Willem Dafoe, who has revealed some early details about his new character in a recent interview.

Dafoe tells Variety, “I haven’t seen any footage yet, but it was fun to do. I play a police officer in the afterlife, so I’m a dead person. And in life I was a B-movie action star, but I had an accident and that’s what sent me to the other side. But because of my skills, I became a detective character in the afterlife. So that’s my job. But it’s colored by the fact of who I was [when I was alive]: a B movie action star.”

Wednesday and Smallville series creators Al Gough and Miles Millar, who worked with Burton and Ortega on that massively successful Addams Family show for Netflix, wrote the screenplay, and Brad Pitt’s Plan B is producing.

Danny Elfman is also back from the original film, and his numerous collaborations with Burton since, to compose the soundtrack for Beetlejuice 2.

In the original film, a recently deceased married couple, Barbara and Adam Maitland (played by Geena Davis and Alec Baldwin) are impossibly irked by the eccentric new family (played by Catherine O’Hara and Jeffrey Jones, with Ryder as their teenage daughter) that moves into their home. So they contact “bio-exorcist” Beetlejuice, a devious ghost from the Netherworld, who promises to help the Maitlands haunt the house’s new inhabitants out of their home.

Beetlejuice 2 is scheduled to open in theaters on September 6, 2024.

*Paid links: We may earn a commission from purchases made through links in this article, which helps support the continued operation of Halloween Daily News.


For more Halloween news, follow @HalloweenDaily

Matt Artz

Founded Halloween Daily News in 2012 and the Halloween International Film Festival in 2016. Professional writer/journalist/photographer since 2000.