With additional reporting by Josh Horowitz
When we last talked to actor Michael Keaton back in February about the long in development sequel to “Beetlejuice,” things were looking up.
“I always said that’s the one thing I’d like to do again, if I ever did anything again. But it kind of required [Director] Tim [Burton] to be involved some way or another,” Keaton told MTV News. “Now it looks like he is involved. And without giving too much away we’ve talked to each other, and e-mailed each other, and if he’s in, it’s going to be hard not to be in.”
Which was exciting news for any fans of the 1988 supernatural comedy. But cut to eight months later, and when we talked to Keaton again during press for his currently in theaters movie “Birdman,” it turned out things weren’t that much farther along than they were in February.
Still, even if there’s no full script, writer Seth Grahame-Smith is still working hard on something.
“He’s a talented dude, I ran into him one time, he’s very funny,” Keaton recalled. “And I said, ’Okay, call me.’ I said, ’here’s what you probably don’t want to do.’ And he already knew it. I said, ’here’s a potential pitfall regardless of what you’re writing. I wouldn’t do that, and I wouldn’t do that, because that’s something sequels sometimes do that are mistakes.’ ”
And though he wouldn’t offer up any specifics as to the advice he gave Grahame-Smith, the biggest thing holding back a successful script, in Keaton’s estimation, is that what made the first movie successful wasn’t necessarily the script at all.
“The problem is, a lot of it was created on the set with Tim and I,” Keaton added. “A lot of that didn’t exist on paper, and you can’t really write that. The concept, and Tim’s imagery, and Tim’s ideas – that was all him. That I had nothing to do with. But in terms of how you do it, and what you say, when and where you change, and sing and dance and do these things… I couldn’t write it.”
Sounds like Grahame-Smith at least has his work cut out for him.
“Birdman” is in theaters now.