The ghost with the most is coming back 30 years later and anticipation is high. Not much is known about the long gestating “Beetlejuice 2,” that’s set to reunite Michael Keaton in the title role, alongside Jenna Ortega, Winona Ryder and director Tim Burton. But the film’s cinematographer, Haris Zambarloukos, shed a little light on what fans can anticipate.
During the press junket for Zambarloukos’ latest film, Kenneth Branagh’s ghost story “A Haunting in Venice,” the cinematographer explained how Branagh and Burton boast some similarities in their filming style. “Both Kenneth and Tim, in these two stories wanted to work, in-camera,” Zambarloukos said, meaning that both films were shot in strict sequence so to be edited while filming.
“At its heart ‘Beetlejuice ’ is a story about a family,” Zambarloukos said. “And now it’s 30 years later and what are the intricacies and the human condition in keeping a family together all that time set in the craziest world possible? That’s why I choose projects. That human connection for me is always at the forefront.”
And, no doubt, that crazy world is going to involve all manner of wacky Tim Burton special effects, including puppets. “On ‘Haunting in Venice’ we built a miniature house, a palazzo and did it to scale,” Zambarloukos said. “That’s how we got some of the angles we couldn’t get in real Venice. With Tim we’re working with Neal Scanlan, his puppeteer for many films.”
Back in June, Keaton discussed how the filming of “Beetlejuice 2” was very similar to how they made the movie back in 1988 in an interview with Empire magazine. “It’s so fun, it’s so great. And you know what it is? We’re doing it exactly like we did the first movie. There’s a woman in the great waiting room for the afterlife literally with a fishing line — I want people to know this because I love it — tugging on the tail of a cat to make it move,” he said.
The length of time has only made the actors grow fonder of their characters. “[Burton] and I were talking about it years and years ago, never telling anybody,” Keaton said to Empire. “We both agreed, if it happens, it has to be done as close to the way we made it the first time. Making stuff up, making stuff happen, improvising and riffing, but literally handmade stuff, like people creating things with their hands and building something. F–kin’ great. It’s the most fun I’ve had working on a movie in — I can’t tell you how long.”
“Beetlejuice 2” hits theaters Sept. 6, 2024.