The ending of the original Beetlejuice sets up a perfect opening for a sequel.
The sequel can pick up right where the original left off, with Betelgeuse still waiting in the afterlife's waiting room.
Betelgeuse's long wait can be a recurring joke throughout the sequel, highlighting the passage of time since the first film.
Tim Burton’s upcoming Beetlejuice Beetlejuice already has the perfect opening sequence baked right into it, and one that could even establish a running joke for the Beetlejuice franchise. The original Beetlejuice debuted in 1988, at a time when both director Tim Burton and Beetlejuice star Michael Keaton were making names for themselves in the film industry. Burton and Keaton’s subsequent collaborations on 1989’s Batman and 1992’s Batman Returns made each into a household name, while talk of a potential Beetlejuice 2 has come and gone regularly over the years. With Beetlejuice Beetlejuice finally getting off the ground and set for a September 6, 2024 release date, the ending of its 1988 predecessor may have perfectly set the foundation for a sequel all along without anyone realizing it.
Where It All Began
In the ending of the original Beetlejuice, the titular bio-exorcist is sitting in the afterlife waiting room to receive assistance, but quickly learns he has a long wait ahead of him with the waiting room’s client counter only at 3, and Betelgeuse’s ticket assigning him number 9,998, 383,775,000. Betelgeuse tries to jump ahead of the line by switching tickets with the witch doctor next to him, whose ticket is number 4, but he gets an unfortunate surprise when the witch doctor sprinkles magic dust onto Betelgeuse to shrink his head. While this is a hilarious final gag to wrap Beetlejuice up with, Beetlejuice Beetlejuice has the perfect opening set up for it by simply picking up right from where this scene leaves off.
Presumably, the witch doctor took his ticket back from Betelgeuse, leaving Betelgeuse with a very lengthy wait with literally trillions of people in line ahead of him. Beetlejuice Beetlejuice can simply begin with Michael Keaton’s Betelgeuse finally getting called, with his list of afterlife problems to be addressed now including returning his shrunken head back to its original size. To make the joke even more canonical with the original Beetlejuice, the sequel can also include a punchline making clear that Betelgeuse has been stewing in the afterlife’s equivalent of the DMV since 1988, making the 36-year gap from Beetlejuice to Beetlejuice Beetlejuice a hilarious in-universe time jump.
The original Beetlejuice already makes clear that extremely long waiting periods in the afterlife’s waiting room are commonplace, with Adam (Alec Baldwin) and Barbara Maitland (Geena Davis) waiting a whopping three months to see their case worker Juno (Sylvia Sydney). In that time, the new owners of Maitland’s house, the Deetz family, manage to do a complete interior re-design of the residence, motivating the Maitlands that much more to summon Betelgeuse in order to free their home of its new living occupants. With Betelgeuse having an exponentially longer wait than the Maitlands, Beetlejuice Beetlejuice can open all sorts of jokes about how much the world and characters like the returning Lydia (Winona Ryder) and Delia Deetz (Catherine O’Hara) have progressed and changed since the first Beetlejuice. Additionally, the Beetlejuice franchise might also be able to turn this into a recurring joke.
A Slick Story
The title of Beetlejuice Beetlejuice is an obvious play on Betelgeuse himself being summoned (or banished) by someone calling out his name three times. With two movies in the franchise titled Beetlejuice and Beetlejuice Beetlejuice, this could hint to possible plans for a third Beetlejuice movie adopting the title of Beetlejuice Beetlejuice Beetlejuice. If so, that could also lay the groundwork for Betelgeuse’s long afterlife DMV waits as the perfect running joke, with Beetlejuice Beetlejuice ending with the wacky bio-exorcist in the waiting room again, and Beetlejuice Beetlejuice Beetlejuice opening years later with Betelgeuse getting called after another very extended waiting period. It might have taken 36 years for Betelgeuse to finally bring his brand of supernatural laughter back to the big screen, but with how agonizingly long wait times are in the afterlife, it might end up being well worth it if Beetlejuice Beetlejuice can turn that waiting period into a gag on both audiences and on Betelgeuse himself.
Are you looking forward to Beetlejuice Beetlejuice?
This is a follow-up to the comedy Beetlejuice (1988), about a ghost who's recruited to help haunt a house.
Brad Curran is a dedicated writer from the United States with a love of all things nerdy. Brad’s interests range from action and martial arts flicks to superhero movies from both the DC and Marvel universes, to horror movies and sci-fi epics, with all of his interests united by his innate love of adventure.
Since 2013, Brad has brought his deep love for and experience with martial arts to his work with Kung Fu Kingdom, where he has covered everything from movies and TV to training and interviews with stars likes Scott Adkins, Michael Jai White, Tony Jaa, Jackie Chan, Joe Taslim, and Shannon Lee, to name just a few. Brad also expanded his career in entertainment journalism in his work with as a features writer for Screen Rant, where Brad brought his skill as on a range of topics like superheroes, the Avatar: The Last Airbender franchise, and the history making story of the Snyder Cut. Brad also utilized his skill as an interviewer to his work with Screen Rant, where his interview resume includes big stars like Frank Grillo, Gerard Butler, Dante Basco, Janet Varney, Annette O’Toole, Dolph Lundgren, and many others.
Most importantly of all, Brad also considers Raul Julia’s M. Bison to be the most quotable movie character of all time, bar none.