There are two types of people in this world. There are those who aren’t afraid of looking into the mirror and saying “Beetlejuice” three times, and there are those who’ve seen the film and know what a terrible idea that would be. This much-loved 1980s fantasy film is a favorite of almost everybody who grew up during the 1980s, and is the best example of Tim Burton’s early work as a director. Long before he started making bespoke films for Johnny Depp, he was demonstrating his flair for gothic-looking laughs with “Beetlejuice.”
We were promised a sequel to “Beetlejuice” all the way through the 1990s, but nothing ever came of it. We made do with the video games and the cartoons – even though none of them were any good if we’re honest about it – and by the time the year 2000 came around, we sadly accepted that “Beetlejuice” would forever be part of our childhood, but we’d never see the character again. Well, outside of Halloween when we stream the film every year, obviously.
It’s remarkable that “Beetlejuice” was as funny as it turned out to be, because it was never originally intended to be that way. In fact, there are several things about the film that might surprise you to know. We don’t intend on keeping our secrets here, though, so here are five things we bet you didn’t know about the most fantastic scary cult kids movie of them all, “Beetlejuice!”
Sammy Davis Jr Was The First Pick For The Part
It’s impossible to imagine anyone other than Michael Keaton in the film’s lead role. He completely embodied the part and did such a good job that Tim Burton called him back the next year and cast him as Batman. Somewhere in a parallel universe, Keaton never got the role at all. Instead, it went to former “Rat Pack” member and best friend of Frank Sinatra, Sammy Davis Jr. That would have been a wildly different interpretation of the role. Sammy was in his mid-60s at the time, and while he’d done some acting, it wasn’t his forte. We have no idea how a version of “Beetlejuice” led by Sammy Davis Jr might have panned out, but we think we’re very glad that we didn’t see it.
Nobody Wanted To Play Lydia Deetz
A big role in a film is exactly what every young actor dreams of being offered, right? Apparently not. Virtually everybody who was offered the part of Lydia Deetz rejected it. The list of performers who were asked if they were interested in being Lydia reads like a female who’s who of Hollywood during the past thirty years. Sarah Jessica Parker said no. Brooke Shields passed on it. Molly Ringwald had better things to do. Jennifer Connelly couldn’t be persuaded. Diane Lane and Lori Loughlin turned Tim Burton away, and Justine Bateman wasn’t interested in either. We don’t know if Winona Ryder was aware of it at the time, but she was at least eighth or ninth on Burton’s list. Perhaps the other women knew something she didn’t about the part being cursed, though; after accepting the role and starring in the film, Ryder was bullied at school.
It Wasn’t Supposed To Be Funny
If the film had been made according to the vision of Michael McDowell, who wrote the original script, nobody would have been laughing during “Beetlejuice.” There might have been a lot of people crying, though. McDowell envisioned the title character as a terrifying demon with wings who sometimes took on the form of a Middle Eastern man, and enjoyed torturing and murdering human beings. He would have tormented the Deetz family for the movie’s entire running time, and there wouldn’t have been a hint of redemption anywhere. On top of that, the car crash that the Maitlands were involved in would have been extremely gory, and a lot more fatal. Taking all of that into consideration, it’s a good job that other writers got their hands on it and managed to turn the whole tale into something a little more cheery. Try playing that original screenplay for laughs.
There’s Going To Be A Sequel
We admit it; we teased you at the beginning of this article by pretending that a sequel wasn’t coming. “Beetlejuice” has had more green-lit and then canceled sequels planned than perhaps any other film in history, but this time we’ve been promised that a sequel is really happening. Tim Burton confirmed to the press last year that he’s planning on making a sequel, and claimed at the time that both Michael Keaton and Winona Ryder were on board to return to their roles. He didn’t mention Geena Davis, but she’s also said she’d be happy to come back to the part if someone asked her to. Signs were still positive at the start of 2020 when Michael Keaton confirmed that he’d been in conversations about it, and was committed to playing the character again. Things haven’t been great for the movie industry since then for obvious reasons, so we imagine that’s slowed things down a little in terms of planning, but how could they not make the film now? If every significant cast member wants to do it, and the director wants to do it too, surely it’s going to get made?
Someone Turned It Into An Online Slots Game
As if by way of confirmation that there’s something happening with the “Beetlejuice” intellectual property at the moment, a brand new online slots game based on the first film began to appear at online slots websites in April 2020. People have been making online slots for almost twenty years now, so why would one suddenly appear at the same time that people are talking about a sequel if something exciting wasn’t happening? For those who have an interest in such things, the official “Beetlejuice” online slots game is a ‘Megaways’ feature with more than seven thousand ways to win, a ‘free spins’ feature, multipliers, lots of sounds and images that come straight from the film, and a return-to-player rate of 96%. If Online Slots UK are your thing, why not indulge in a little nostalgia at the same time as indulging in your hobby and give it a spin?
Those are our five facts, and we hope you found them enlightening! Seriously, though, Sammy Davis Jr?