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"Beetlejuice 2" to Open Venice Film Festival


Wed 03 Jul 2024 | 09:23 AM
Beetlejuice
Beetlejuice
Yara Sameh

Tim Burton’s “Beetlejuice Beetlejuice” will open the upcoming Venice Film Festival.

The movie stars Michael Keaton, Winona Ryder, Catherine O’Hara, Justin Theroux, Monica Bellucci, Jenna Ortega, and Willem Dafoe.

Burton’s follow-up to his 1988 comedy-horror classic, in which Keaton returns as the foul-mouthed, shape-shifting ghoul, will world premiere out-of-competition on Aug. 28 at the Lido’s Palazzo del Cinema with talent in tow. 

The hotly anticipated new “Beetlejuice” chapter releases in the U.S. September 6 via Warner Bros. and will launch internationally starting September 4.

“Beetlejuice Beetlejuice” sees three generations of the Deetz clan move back into their Winter River home after a sudden death in the family. When Lydia’s (Ryder) rebellious teen daughter Astrid (Ortega) discovers a portal to the afterlife hidden in the basement, the name of the mischievous spirit Beetlejuice is inevitably repeated three times, inviting him to wreak havoc in the Deetz family home once again.

“Beetlejuice Beetlejuice” is the latest horror title to star scream queen Ortega, who has made a name for herself as a genre staple. 

She previously starred in Burton’s Netflix original series “Wednesday” as the titular Addams’ family member as well as Ti West’s “X” and two installments of the rebooted “Scream” franchise.

“‘Beetlejuice Beetlejuice’ marks the long-awaited return of one of the most iconic characters of Tim Burton’s cinema, but also the happy confirmation of the extraordinary visionary talent and the masterly realization of one of the most fascinating auteurs of his time,” said Venice artistic director Alberto Barbera in a statement. “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.”

Burton added, “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 directed “Beetlejuice Beetlejuice” from a screenplay by Alfred Gough and Miles Millar (“Wednesday”). 

The film’s producers are Burton, Marc Toberoff, Dede Gardner, Jeremy Kleiner, Tommy Harper and Burton, with Gough, Millar, Sara Desmond, Katterli Frauenfelder, Larry Wilson, Laurence Senelick and Brad Pitt executive producing.

This year’s Venice fest is shaping up to be a star-studded affair with Johnny Depp, Lady Gaga, Joaquin Phoenix, Angelina Jolie, Daniel Craig, George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Gal Gadot and Ana de Armas among top Hollywood talents likely to be launching high-profile titles from the Lido.

“Joker 2: Folie à Deux,” Todd Phillips’ edgy musical sequel to his 2019 Golden Lion prizewinning “Joker,” starring Gaga and Phoenix, is considered a competition shoo-in, along with Pablo Larraín’s Maria Callas biopic “Maria,” starring Jolie in the title role.

Also believed to be locked into a Venice competition berth is Luca Guadagnino’s William S. Burroughs adaptation “Queer,” in which Daniel Craig plays the renowned counterculture author’s alter ego, an outcast American expat who lives in Mexico and is fighting a heroin addiction. “Outer Banks” star Drew Starkey also features as a younger man with whom the expat becomes madly infatuated.

Also in the mix are the Jon Watts-directed action comedy “Wolfs,” pairing Clooney and Pitt as two lone-wolf fixers forced to work together in covering up a high-profile crime, and Ron Howard’s survival thriller “Eden” starring Jude Law, Ana de Armas, Sydney Sweeney, Vanessa Kirby and Daniel Brühl.

Johnny Depp could also be returning to Venice as the director of “Modì,” his biopic of Italian artist Amedeo Modigliani, which stars Italy’s Riccardo Scamarcio as the bad boy painter and Al Pacino as international art collector Maurice Gangnat.

The Venice Film Festival’s 81st edition will run August 28 to September 7. The full line-up will be announced on July 23.