A cult classic that serves an epitome of Tim Burton’s iconic style, Beetlejuice serves its zany and weird world to many film lovers in the 80s. It had it all: an unreal design and atmosphere by Burton, the comedic timing of the great Michael Keaton, and a really iconic set of music numbers that grounded the most interesting use of Harry Belafonte’s Jump in the Line in a film ending ever. All was well with Lydia and the Maitlands with Beetlejuice serving his own well-served ending stuck in a huge line-up with a shrunk head. But as it turns out, the ending was meant to be much more…polar opposite in tone with the film.
Talking with Yahoo! Entertainment, Winona Ryder reveals the whimsical note that the ending left was not originally the ending it was to have and instead consisted of a much darker tone.
“Our first ending was Lydia — she died in a fire and was able to join Barbara and Adam in the afterlife.”
The disapproval of the tone was immediate before the filming began, as she continued:
“A couple of people said to us, ‘Do you really think that’s a good idea? Is that really the message you want to be sending to the teenagers of the world? Die in a fire?’ So, yeah, it probably was darker.”
Little known fact was that Beetlejuice was originally not intended as a dark comedy but a straight-up horror prior to its later drafts. Having known that, it’s not too surprising some morbid elements of it still stuck through. It’s safe to say that a safer theme has made the film stand out well on its own.
Still, what does the future of Beetlejuice hold? Talk of a sequel has been on the grounds up and down with some even noting that (very unfortunately) there are talks of Johnny Depp initially replacing Michael Keaton for the character. The last notable update was of October last year, but with no concrete confirmation on Burton or Keaton attached to it. Perhaps with how difficult it is to make a sequel to a great film, its best to leave it for what it is as a stand-alone masterpiece.
What do you think about the alternate ending? Be sure to tell us your thoughts in the comments!