Beetlejuice 2 | “It had to feel handmade,” Michael Keaton says of sequel’s lack of CGI

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After “years of standing in front of a giant screen,” returning star Michael Keaton was adamant that Beetlejuice 2 had to “feel handmade,” and praises its practical effects.

After years of false starts and delays, Beetlejuice 2 – or Beetlejuice Beetlejuice – is finally due to come out in September. Reuniting the 1988 comedy-horror’s director Tim Burton with that film’s stars, Michael Keaton, Winona Ryder and Catherine O’Hara, it’ll again follow the exploits of the mischievous spectre Betelguise (Keaton) and his interactions with unsuspecting middle-class Americans and other zany ghosts.

Among the pieces that had to be in place in order for the sequel to happen, coaxing Keaton back into the title role was surely key. And speaking to People (via The Wrap), Keaton has revealed one of his chief stipulations: if he was to return, then Beetlejuice Beetlejuice had to retain the same pre-CGI, “handmade” feel of the 80s original.

“The one thing that he [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,” Keaton said. “It had to feel handmade.”

Keaton then described the puppeteering and craft that went into a scene in the upcoming sequel – a call-back to a standout sequence from the first film, where various characters are waiting in line to have their heads shrunken. As in the original, the sequel sounds as though it uses puppets and practical effects to bring the scene to life.

Said Keaton, “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.’”

Although he didn’t mention specific titles, Keaton then contrasted the process of making Beetlejuice Beetlejuice with his experiences on other recent, effects-heavy films. “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.”

Beetlejuice Beetlejuice is out in UK cinemas on the 6th September.

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