Tim Burton’s ‘Beetlejuice Beetlejuice’ to Open Venice Film Festival

“Beetlejuice Beetlejuice,” the slow-burn sequel to Tim Burton’s cult classic, will open the 81st Venice International Film Festival out of competition on August 28, it was announced Tuesday.

The film reunites Burton with Micheal Keaton, who reprises his role as the mischievous title spectre. The cast includes Winona Ryder as Lydia Deetz, Catherine O’Hara as Delia Deetz, and newcomers Justin Theroux, Monica Bellucci, Willem Dafoe and Jenna Ortega.

Ortega stars as Lydia’s daughter, Astrid, who inadvertently reawakens Beetlejuice.

“‘Beetlejuice Beetlejuice’ marks the long-awaited return of one of the most iconic characters of Tim Burton’s cinema, and the happy confirmation of his extraordinary visionary talent,” festival director Alberto Barbera said in a Tuesday release. “The Venice Biennale is honored and proud to host the world premiere of a work that features a surprising swing of creative imagination and driving hallucinatory rhythm.”

The story picks up years after the 1988 original, following three generations of the Deetz family who return to their home in Winter River after a tragedy. The plot centers on Lydia’s daughter, Astrid, who discovers a model of the town in the attic and accidentally opens a portal to the Afterlife, bringing Beetlejuice back into their lives.

“I’m very excited by this. It means a lot to me to have the world premiere of this film at the Venice Film Festival,” Burton said.

The sequel features a screenplay by Alfred Gough and Miles Millar, with a story by Gough, Millar, and Seth Grahame-Smith. The film is produced by Marc Toberoff, Dede Gardner, Jeremy Kleiner, Tommy Harper, and Burton himself, with executive producers Sara Desmond, Katterli Frauenfelder, Gough, Millar, Larry Wilson, Laurence Senelick, and Brad Pitt.

The project’s creative team includes many of Burton’s longtime collaborators, such as composer Danny Elfman, director of photography Haris Zambarloukos, production designer Mark Scruton, editor Jay Prychidny, costume designer Colleen Atwood, creature effects and special makeup supervisor Neal Scanlan, visual effects supervisor Angus Bickerton and hair and makeup designer Christine Blundell.

The Warner Bros. Pictures film will be released exclusively in theaters and IMAX on Sept. 6 in North America, with international releases beginning on September 4. Warner Bros.

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