Tim Burton: Michael Keaton 'Possessed' in Beetlejuice Transformation

Michael Keaton redefines Beetlejuice for a new era

by Zain ul Abedin
Tim Burton: Michael Keaton 'Possessed' in Beetlejuice Transformation
© Gabe Ginsberg/Getty Images

After over three decades, Michael Keaton revisited his iconic role as Beetlejuice in Tim Burton's eagerly anticipated sequel. Despite initial reservations, Keaton delved deep to reconnect with the essence of his character, untainted by the pervasive commercial imagery that had since enveloped Beetlejuice.

Keaton explained to Empire magazine, "There's been so much merchandising of it, I had to drop back to where it started. I had to think, 'What was going through my mind when I first developed this character?' instead of the endless stream of merchandise like coffee mugs and golf-club covers bearing Beetlejuice's face." The return to Beetlejuice was not just a simple step back into character; it required Keaton to separate the character from the commercial icon he had become, a challenge that he found somewhat jarring.

"It was off-putting to see how commercialized he'd become. I needed to rediscover what sparked the original creation of this character," Keaton confessed.

Keaton's Supernatural Return

Director Tim Burton and co-stars observed a transformation in Keaton that was almost supernatural.

Burton remarked, "It was like he was possessed by a demon, as he slipped right back into character effortlessly." Catherine O'Hara and Jenna Ortega were equally stunned by his transformation. "It was insane," O'Hara commented, while Ortega described it as witnessing "an animal with a gun walking into the room.

The moment he changed, Michael Keaton was gone, and there was only Beetlejuice." Reflecting on the film, Keaton expressed a rare and enthusiastic endorsement: "I love it. I absolutely love this thing. It's not often I talk like this, but I unabashedly love what we've achieved.

It wasn't easy, but I think we nailed it." Keaton's journey back to Beetlejuice exemplifies a profound connection to a role that transcends time—a feat that not only showcases his enduring talent but also reinvigorates a beloved cinematic phenomenon for both new and long-standing fans.

Tim Burton