5 Facts About the Movie Before the Beetlejuice Musical Hits D.C.

Regional News   5 Facts About the Movie Before the Beetlejuice Musical Hits D.C.
From Tim Burton's dream casting for the title role to the long overdue potential sequel, here are factoids and trivia about the ghost with the most before the musical begins performances this October.
Alex Brightman and Sophia Anne Caruso
Alex Brightman and Sophia Anne Caruso Darren Cox/SpotCo

Apparently someone said it three times, because Beetlejuice is moving from screen to stage when the musical adaptation takes over Washington, D.C.’s National Theatre this fall. Beginning previews October 14 prior to an opening night of November 4, the new show, directed by Alex Timbers and featuring a score by Eddie Perfect and a book by Anthony King and Scott Brown, will bring Tim Burton’s instantly iconic ghoul, ghosts, and Goths to life for 2018 audiences.

Time will tell how much of the story—about a recently deceased couple, the family who moves into their house, and the ghost with the most tormenting them all—will make it to the stage. In the meantime, here are five fun facts you should know about the classic original.

What’s in a Name?
Viewers of the film have probably noticed that the title character’s name is actually spelled Betelgeuse (as in the star in the Orion constellation), but “Beetlejuice” was used for the title and marketing materials for obvious reasons.

Sammy Davis, Jr. Could Have Been Beetlejuice
Burton was a lifelong fan of Mr. Show Business and initially thought of him to play the title character, but Warner Bros. nixed the idea, leading to Michael Keaton eventually taking the role.

Size Isn’t Everything
Considering how memorable the character became, the title role has surprisingly little screen time—Keaton spent just two weeks filming his part and doesn’t appear in the movie until 25 minutes in. Let's hope we don't have to wait as long for Tony nominee Alex Brightman to appear

From Screams to Screamingly Funny
Initially, Burton wanted the film to focus more on the recently deceased Maitlands (played by Alec Baldwin and Geena Davis in the film, and Rob McClure and Kerry Butler in the stage musical). That version was a much darker horror film that ultimately softened into a comedy—one that does not, as originally planned, involve Beetlejuice attacking a little girl in the form of a rabid squirrel.

Beetlejuice x 2?
A sequel—Beetlejuice Goes Hawaiian—was written shortly after the film became a success, and both Keaton and Wynona Ryder (whose role of Lydia will be played by Sophia Ann Caruso on stage) informally signed on to do it. Ultimately, that movie was never made, but talk of a follow-up continues to pop up every now and then.

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