Beetlejuice (film)

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Name: Beetlejuice
Abbreviation(s): BTJ
Creator: Michael McDowell, Larry Wilson, Warren Skaaren and Tim Burton
Date(s): March 30, 1988
Medium: Film, Animated Series, Musical
Country of Origin: United States
External Links: IMDB
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Beetlejuice is a 1988 film created by Michael McDowell and Larry Wilson. Directed by Tim Burton with music by Danny Elfman. It was intended to be a serious horror movie but after several rewrites, a brilliant director and cast, this film became a cult classic halloween go to and a template for the style of Tim Burton films.


Canon Overview

Originally written by Michael McDowell, the film script underwent many changes. After the first version where the Maitlands car crash was intended to be far more graphic was rejected, the second draft written by McDowell is dated June 1, 1985. McDowell 2nd Draft

Later it was rewritten again by Warren Skaaren where the characters underwent some interesting changes. Initially, Lydia had a sister named Cathy but by the time the rewrites came into effect this character was gone and Lydia became the only child/teen in the film. Lydia also went from a Death Rocker with the intent to lose her virginity. While Beetlejuice changed from a Middle Eastern Demon intent on pure destruction. He even had a moment where he became a character named Danny Death to woo Lydia eventually intending on raping her. Skaaren Production Draft Skaaren Final Script

The Story

This is the story of a couple in Winter River, Connecticut, who, upon a staycation in their own home, died while making a quick errand. While they are still struggling with their new status as Recently Deceased, a new family moves into their home and changes everything. In a last-ditch attempt, they call upon the Freelance Bio-Exorcist, Betelgeuse, to rid their home of the Deetz family. Nothing goes as planned.

Other Media

Video games

  • Adventures of Beetlejuice: Skeletons in the Closet
  • Beetlejuice NES 1991
  • Beetlejuice: Horrific Hijinx from the Neitherworld!

The Sequels

Since the release, there have been plans for a sequel but false announcements have become a bit of a joke for the fandom. There were two proposed sequels to Beetlejuice and both are scrapped. Copies of these scripts are floating around online and among avid fans.

Beetlejuice Goes Hawaiian

Written by Jonathan Gems based on an idea by Tim Burton.

In Beetlejuice Goes Hawaiian, the ghost with the most is not living it up in the land of the dead. In fact, he is working a boring job while sleeping with women he doesn't want to be seen in public with. All while lamenting his failed marriage attempt to Lydia Deetz.

Meanwhile, Lydia and her family are going to the Hawaiian islands so Charles can start up a resort. The ghosts of the island are not happy and seek out Betelgeuse to help rid them of the Deetz's. He accepts and as expected causes havoc and pursues his chosen bride Lydia, attempting once again to marry her.

Beetlejuice in Love

This is a rare script written by Warren Skaaren on July 10, 1990.

In this proposed sequel, a young couple professes their love to each other on the Eiffel tower in Paris. Leo Lorenzo, 21, is an opera composer and his lady Julia is the leading lady. Leo dies a horrifying death falling from the tower. However, instead of falling to the floor, we continue to watch as Leo falls into the land of the dead and is greeted by none other than Betelgeuse who is quick to con this poor lovesick sap.

Once Betelgeuse finds his angle, to "reunite" the lovers, he convinces Leo to get Julia to say his name. Between hilarious moments where the dead are attempting to mess with mediums, reincarnate and basically wait till death is over, Beetlejuice and Leo are trying to avoid getting caught trying to live again. This story ends with Betelgeuse tricking Julia into marrying him and screwing Leo over, but of course, nothing goes according to plan for the ghost with the most and he ends up back in the Netherworld while Leo gets reincarnated into a child given to Julia by her formerly pregnant teenage neighbor to raise.

Main Characters

Dead Side Characters

  • Juno
  • Miss Argentina
  • Janitor
  • Preacher
  • FootBall Players
  • Dante's Girls
  • The Hanging Man

Living Side Characters

  • Jane Butterfield
  • Maxie Dean
  • Sarah Dean
  • Bernard
  • Grace
  • Beryl


In the early days of the fandom, there was a fan page known as The Neitherworld. This was the first fansite to cover both the movie and the cartoon. Initially, the website was a subdirectory of the creator, Sparky's, University of Southern California web account in 1997 but in April 1999, the owner purchased the web domain and the fandom found a way to finally connect.

It became the hub for the fans.

Sparky's original movie site was plagiarized many times, with her initial content being ripped off continuously. Eventually leading her to send the content to the owner of the now-defunct Webpage For The Recently Deceased [1]

Many of the fandom pioneer artists and writers from this website are still active today though many have adopted new pennames.

Movie fans have created many websites and fanworks in the years since. From Cobweb and Stripes, a fan comic by Addatheripper, to the upcoming Fan supported Documentary For The Recently Deceased

Starting as a campaign on Indigo in 2017, then later on Kickstarter, this documentary raised the funds to travel all over in search of cast, crew, and animator interviews. Not to mention they traveled to the REAL Winter River, (East Corinth, Vermont). The project end dates currently December 2020 but may change.

See: Timeline of Beetlejuice Fandom


*Beetlejuice/Lydia Deetz

Beetlejuice and Lydia, also known as Beetlebabes, are the primary couple of fanfiction in the early days of the fandom. They are shipped in all universes.

This ship is controversial on multiple factors. Age Gap, Dead guy, and Living girl, and Manipulation. There is a growing community of anti-shippers for this pairing since the musical came onto the stage.


This pairing/trio, also known as Beetlands, is growing in popularity among musical fans. However, on Archive of Our Own, there are a few stories beginning to surface for the movie verse.

The main focus on this ship is a poly dynamic. Sometimes it is an m/m dynamic for Beetlejuice and Adam with Barbara giving her blessing. This is due to two kisses that Beetlejuice uses to either annoy or fluster the newly dead man. This ship is also problematic in that Beetlejuice manipulates and harasses the Maitlands mercilessly while initiating Barbara's exorcism in the musical.

*The Deetz and The Maitlands

This ship, also known as Deetzland, is highlighting a poly dynamic between two couples. Adam and Barbara Maitland with Charles and Delia Deetz. This grew into popularity among a small group of musical fans and has slipped over into the movie universe.

*Beetlejuice/Miss Argentina

This ship is recently developing by a small group of movie fans. This is due to one specific scene in the Beetlejuice failed sequel "Beetlejuice In Love".

In this scene, Beetlejuice jokes that he would like to "Share a waterbed with Miss Argentina" where she then gives him a snarky reply indicating they knew each other. Possibly due to BJ being Juno's former assistant and Tina being the Receptionist.



Haunting Temptation [2] [Fanfiction net archive] by FairDreaFandom: Beetlejuice (1988)Date: 2011-01-31–2013-07-07Length: 79,292Status: CompletedGenre: Romance/Supernatural
Movie Verse - Lydia returns to Winter Rivers, an empty home, and an enraged poltergeist bent on destruction...or was it seduction? One look at what she's become and Beetlejuice isn't entirely sure revenge is what he's out for. Adult themes and language.
 Lydia was late [3] [Fanfiction net archive] by WithoutHesitationFandom: Beetlejuice (1988)Date: 2008-07-22–2008-08-02Length: 66,512Status: CompletedGenre: Angst/Romance
A dark and pleasant little what if... What if it wasn't Lydia who'd agreed to marry Beetlejuice to save the Maitland's, but her mother? What if, a generation later, Lydia finds his ring, and puts it on? Not a happy, fluffy story... Old grudges die hard.




Fan Videos


Music Videos



  • Freshly Squeezed Juice Blog [4]
  • Eccentric Is the Word for Beetlejuice [5]
  • On Beetlejuice And Vintage Fashion [6]



References and Websites