Michael Keaton Explains Why Beetlejuice 2 Needed To Use Practical Effects Over CGI

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This fall, for the first time in over 30 years, Michael Keaton’s iconic demon will return to haunt something in Tim Burton’s Beetlejuice Beetlejuice. Ahead of us seeing the 72-year-old back in the black and white-striped suit for the sequel, Keaton shared why it was important to both him and Burton to make the movie without leaning on much CGI. 

Following Beetlejuice 2 wrapping its production back in November, it has joined upcoming horror movies on this year’s calendar to hit theaters this September. While we wait to see a first look at the sequel, Michael Keaton said this about it: 

The one thing that [Tim Burton] and I decided on early, early, early on from the beginning, if we ever did it again, I was totally not interested in doing something where there was too much technology. It had to feel handmade. What made it fun was watching somebody in the corner actually holding something up for you, to watch everybody in the shrunken head room and say, ‘Those are people under there, operating these things, trying to get it right.

Per Michael Keaton’s interview with People, Beetlejuice Beetlejuice is going to be all about the practical effects, just like the original 1988 movie was. Making much of what the audience sees in frame being “handmade” not only was important to the star and writer/director, but also made the set the “most fun” one Keaton’s been on “in a long time.” As he continued: 

It’s the most exciting thing. When you get to do that again after years of standing in front of a giant screen, pretending somebody’s across the way from you, this is just enormous fun.

Michael Keaton has done his share of big movies with green screens as backgrounds. From his recent return to Bruce Wayne for last year’s The Flash to starring in Tim Burton’s Dumbo to playing Vulture in Marvel’s Spider-Man: Homecoming, the actor has had his share of acting next to tennis balls, so to say. 

It’s rather exciting to hear that Beetlejuice Beetlejuice is taking the practical route, because most of the effects were practical in the original too. At the time, Tim Burton reportedly didn’t want to use post-production effects on the horror comedy, and so they didn’t. Plus, the movie took home the 1989 Oscar for Best Makeup! 

Thus far, all that we’ve seen from Beetlejuice Beetlejuice is the first poster. You can look forward to seeing Michael Keaton back alongside fellow familiar faces Winona Ryder and Catherine O’Hara, and newcomers including Jenna Ortega, Monica Bellucci, Willem Dafoe and Justin Theroux. One of the most anticipated 2024 movies will hit theaters on September 6. 

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