Beetlejuice 2 DP Teases the 'Brilliant Story' of Jenna Ortega Sequel (Exclusive)

By Russ Milheim Posted:
Beetlejuice, Michael Keaton, Jenna Ortega

The director of photography (DP) for Tim Burton’s upcoming Beetlejuice 2 teased the “brilliant story” for the Jenna Ortega-led movie.

The original 1988 film followed a recently deceased couple who attempt to call a “bio-exorcist” to get rid of the living residents who moved into what was once their original house.

Over 30 years later, a sequel is actually happening. Not only has Jenna Ortega joined the project (who can also be seen in set photos), but original cast members Winona Ryder and Catherine O’Hara are returning as well.

Michael Keaton is also set to portray the titular Beetlejuice once again—it wouldn’t be right without him, after all.

Beetlejuice 2 Has a 'Brilliant Story'

Beetlejuice, Michael Keaton, Winona Ryder, Jenna Ortega
Beetlejuice

While speaking exclusively with The Direct, Beetlejuice 2's director of photography (DP), Haris Zambarloukos, teased how great the story is for the highly anticipated sequel.

When comparing the movie to the original, the filmmaker shared how he believes "there is the same kind of passion" for Beetlejuice 2, and the story, which brings aboard Wednesday's Jenna Ortega, is "a natural progression:"

“I think there is the same kind of passion and that's what is the kind of ignition behind all of this. We've been working with Neal Scanlan on incredible puppeteering and in-camera effects. And there's just an element of that storytelling--It's a natural progression. It's a very, very personal intimate story for Tim [Burton]. "

Zambarloukos then noted that the central themes of the sequel will be reminiscent of the original flick, describing the heart of the film as "a brilliant, warm family story:"

"Although it's fantastical, when you look at the explanation between the data and the nuances of everything, you will always find something that goes back to kind of something personal for him. So although it's a fantastical story, it, again, at the heart of it [is] a brilliant, warm family story. It is the story of a family and how it's progressed over for 30 years. And I think that's always the basis of a great story.”

What Will Beetlejuice 2 Have in Store?

It’s great to hear that Jenna Ortega’s Beetlejuice 2 has a “brilliant story,” but what exactly does that entail?

While Beetlejuice is all about Michael Keaton’s Betelgeuse, the original film didn't explore too much about him. In fact, in the grand scheme of things, he wasn't the focus at all.

Perhaps this upcoming sequel can add some meat to the character’s metaphorical bones. Maybe the story will help inform audiences on how Keaton’s prankster truly started doing what he does.

One intriguing possibility could be that Betelgeuse (aka Beetlejuice) is looking for a partner or possibly even someone to take over his entire operation. How fun would it be to see Jenna Ortega as that possible successor?

That outcome would certainly be a fun diversion from what fans are used to seeing from the actress and allow her to stretch her acting talents.

Many fans would also undoubtedly love to see more of how Beetlejuice’s underworld works and functions alongside the living world. Keaton’s character training a new helper could do just that.

This generational theme certainly seems to be key to Beetlejuice 2's plot given the return of Winona Ryder and Catherine O'Hara, as well as Zambarloukos' tease of a "family story." So perhaps this could further tie into the titular character's own journey in the movie.

Beetlejuice 2 is currently set to hit theaters on September 6, 2024.

- About The Author: Russ Milheim
Russ Milheim is the Industry Relations Coordinator at The Direct. On top of utilizing his expertise on the many corners of today’s entertainment to cover the latest news and theories, he establishes and maintains communication and relations between the outlet and the many studio and talent representatives.