For many years now, I have refused to believe in the possibility of Beetlejuice 2, but now, it seems, it is finally happening, it’s real this time. According to Warner Bros. Discovery, Beetlejuice 2 starts filming in London TODAY, with Tim Burton directing, Michael Keaton and Winona Ryder returning, and Justin Theroux and Jenna Ortega joining the sequel cast. Ortega, who worked with Burton on Wednesday, is playing Lydia Deetz’s daughter, which is the most online casting in recent memory.


The film is targeting a September 6, 2024 release date. Marvel’s Blade reboot starring Mahershala Ali is currently also sitting on that release date, but that film is now delayed due to the writers’ strike. One or both of these films will end up moving off that date, two Gothic-y films with mass appeal aren’t opening opposite each other, that’s just bad business for everyone. 

While this is exciting news for Beetlejuice fans, there is the strike of it all. As I mentioned yesterday, writing on scripts never really stops until the project is “picture locked”, meaning it is totally completed and ready for distribution. No one is supposed to be providing writing services right now, but Tim Burton has experience in writing and development, Justin Theroux is also a screenwriter, and Jenna Ortega has some experience rewriting on the fly (fun fact: Wednesday showrunners Alfred Gough and Miles Millar are credited with the latest draft of Beetlejuice 2, Jenna Ortega save us), so there are plenty of people who qualify as “not actually a writer but also kind of a writer” on set who can still zhuzh up a page of dialogue or a story point as needed.


It’s a little scabby. But then, everything continuing in production right now is a little scabby, because to stay in production means to ignore how much writing continually happens on set and throughout all stages of production in film and television. But it might all be moot in a few weeks, anyway. The actors and directors are starting to use strike language as they prepare for their own negotiations with the studios. If either one of those groups goes on strike, too, never mind if both of them do, it’s game over, productions will have to shut down until the situation is resolved. Maybe the studios should just say “Beetlejuice” three times and let him solve the problem.