Tim Burton On The Character He Identifies With Most In ‘Beetlejuice 2’

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No, it’s not the “Ghost with the Most” but his human counterpart that director Tim Burton finds common ground with in the upcoming sequel Beetlejuice Beetlejuice.

In a recent interview with Empire magazine, Burton said the decades between 1988’s Beetlejuice and its long-awaited sequel—scheduled for a September 6 release—have allowed him time to develop a perspective that only years of living can give a person.

As such, it’s Winona Ryder’s character. Lydia Deetz, from the original that Burton continues to identify with the most—especially thanks to her story in the upcoming sequel.

“From the first [film], I really identified with Lydia. It was a character that I understood; that I felt very strongly about,” Burton told Empire. “The new film became very personal to me, through the Lydia character. What happened to Lydia? You know, what happens to people? What happens to all of us? What’s your journey from a gothic kind of weird teenager to what happens to you 35 years later?”

In Beetlejuice Beetlejuice, Lydia Deetz returns to Winter River with her stepmother, Delia (Catherine O’Hara), and her rebellious daughter Astrid, (Jenna Ortega), after a tragic loss in the family.

Lydia’s life is further turned upside down, however, when Astrid accidentally opens a portal to the Afterlife, which unleashes Beetlejuice (Michael Keaton) once again.

Burton Explains The Reasons That Led To Him Making ‘Beetlejuice 2’

Discussing Lydia’s transformation over the years from the events of Beetlejuice to Beetlejuice 2, Tim Burton likened her story to the path his own life has taken since the first film was released in 1988.

“Sometimes, as you get older, you lose yourself a little bit. That’s very much how I feel, and felt,” Burton told Empire. “You go down a path – for me, I started making movies, I make some good ones, I make some bad, you take a journey. So that’s what made this more of an important and personal thing for me, all those feelings.

“You have relationships that change you, you have kids that change you,” Burton added. “After all these years, that became the reason to make it. I identified with Lydia back then and I identify with her now.”

Some of those experiences led to Burton’s break from directing movies after 2019’s Dumbo.

“I actually had sort of lost interest in the movie industry,” Burton told Empire. “And I felt like I’d had enough with studios, I’d had enough of all this kind of stuff.”

In a bit of fate, Burton dove into the television medium for the first time in his career with Wednesday and encountered the series’ writers—Alfred Gough and Miles Millar—who would in turn write a version of the Beetlejuice 2 script that fans will see come to life in theaters in September.

The bonus for Wednesday fans, of course, is that Jenna Ortega is playing the key role of Lydia’s daughter in the film.

Beetlejuice Beetlejuice is opening in theaters on September 6. Meanwhile, Burton, Ortega and the Wednesday cast and crew are back at work filming Season 2 for Netflix.

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