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'Beetlejuice' sequel: Tim Burton in talks to direct

Tim Burton loved making Beetlejuice. The 1988 ghoulish comedy, starring Winona Ryder, Alec Baldwin, Geena Davis, and Michael Keaton as the ghost with the most, was his first big hit and the movie that established the director’s reputation as an eccentric master of the fun-house macabre that would soon blossom in Batman and Edward Scissorhands. In recent years, while promoting films like Dark Shadows and Frankenweenie, Burton often fielded questions about making a sequel, and he’s consistently expressed enthusiasm for the idea and revealed that he even tasked screenwriters Seth Grahame-Smith and David Katzenberg to come up with some new Beetlejuice ideas.

Now Warner Bros. is officially inviting Burton to direct the long-awaited follow-up, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Though Warner Bros. and Burton did not respond to requests for comment, sources have confirmed that discussions are happening. Still, the forward motion shouldn’t exactly be confused for downhill momentum. First off, Burton seems set to next direct an adaptation of Ransom Riggs’ Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children for Fox. Secondly, Grahame-Smith and Katzenberg were intent on making their script a true Beetlejuice sequel centered on Michael Keaton’s character with Keaton. “The star of the movie has to be Michael Keaton as Beetlejuice, and it’s a true continuation 26 years later,” Grahame-Smith told EW in 2011. “Not just throwing him in as a cameo going, ‘Hey, it’s me. I endorse this movie.’”

Alas, Keaton hasn’t even read the most recent Beetlejuice script, according to a source. So you can keep humming along to “Jump in the Line,” but it seems like everyone’s feet are still planted firmly on the ground right now. At best, it feels like it’s almost shoooowtime.

'Dark Shadows' and 'Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter' writer takes criticism (like a stake) to heart

When it comes to vampires, reflection just isn’t something they do.

The same is true of Hollywood, which is why it’s unusual — and kind of reassuring — anytime someone accepts the criticism and vows to do better when a movie fails to connect.

Seth Grahame-Smith, the author of the books Pride and Prejudice and Zombies and Unholy Night, started the summer with two promising projects, having written the screenplays for Tim Burton’s Dark Shadows and the historical fantasy mash-up Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, which was directed by Timur Bekmambetov and based on his own novel.

Then both films ended up underperforming. “On one hand I got to make two movies with some extraordinary visionary filmmakers,” Grahame-Smith says in a surprisingly frank interview with the Los Angeles Times‘ Gina McIntyre. “On the other, the movies didn’t work. So while it’s great to be on the scoreboard, you also have to own the fact that you’re now 0-2.”

So how does he plan to pull things together for his real-life second act?


Damon Lindelof and Seth Grahame-Smith face their critics (kind of), talk new TV show and new 'It' movies

“It’s amazing to wake up and read a tweet that says: “Please kill yourself.'” That was Seth Grahame-Smith, the screenwriter behind this summer’s poorly received Dark Shadows remake and the horrifically received Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter. Grahame-Smith was onstage at Nerd HQ — Zachary Levi’s offshoot demi-convention, located a few blocks away from San Diego Comic-Con — and was joined by Lost co-creator, Prometheus co-writer, and fellow nerd-rage victim Damon Lindelof for a freewheeling chat session called “The Art of Being Despised.” Both Lindelof and Grahame-Smith stressed that, even having written major motion pictures, they are still first and foremost fans. “And we are simply incapable of ignoring what our fellow fans are saying,” explained Lindelof. The implicit promise was that the Q&A session would function as a real-world analogue to the firestorm of criticism that both Prometheus and Abraham Lincoln suffered from online. READ FULL STORY

'Dark Shadows' screenwriter Seth Grahame-Smith on trailer reaction: 'We wanted to have fun with it'

The next three months are going to be a whirlwind for writer Seth Grahame-Smith. On April 10, the Pride and Prejudice and Zombies author’s next foray into genre-tweaked revisionist fiction, Unholy Night — about the Three Kings of the Nativity — arrives in bookstores. On May 11, his big screen version of the beloved horror soap opera Dark Shadows, directed by Tim Burton, hits theaters. And on June 22, Grahame-Smith’s adaptation of his hit novel Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, with Wanted director Timur Bekmambetov, will open.

“It’s going to be a very interesting, crazy spring and summer,” he tells EW with a laugh, minutes before stepping onto the stage at WonderCon in Anaheim, Calif. for the big panel on Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter. Grahame-Smith is especially aware of what’s in store for him at the multiplex, with two dark, gothic debuting within six weeks of each other. “The good news is that they’re extremely different,” he says. “One is much more of an entertainment, much more overtly funny. And one is a kick-ass period action movie.”

The bad news? Reaction to the Dark Shadows trailer has been, in Grahame-Smith’s words, “mixed,” with many fans of the TV show crying foul over the trailer’s jokey, winky tone. It’s a reaction that Grahame-Smith says he understands, although it took him a bit by surprise. Check out our interview about it below: READ FULL STORY

WonderCon: 'Prometheus' debuts new trailer, 'Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter' new footage -- VIDEO

The brand new trailer for Ridley Scott’s Prometheus officially debuted today in Anaheim, Calif. at WonderCon, the fan convention little sister of Comic-Con. Screenwriter Damon Lindelof hosted the panel that featured Scott, and Prometheus costars Charlize Theron and Michael Fassbender, and before screening the trailer, they promised the two-and-a-half-minute clip would help resolve many pressing questions fans have about the film.

The trailer does indeed illuminate a bit more of the film’s storyline. Check it out below:  READ FULL STORY

'Dark Shadows' trailer: Johnny Depp/Tim Burton vampire soap opera plays for laughs

The beginning of the trailer is straight-up gothic horror: an 18th-century romance, a jealous witch, a freshly born vampire crying blood, a hushed ghost whispering “He’s coming …”

Then Johnny Depp and Tim Burton’s Dark Shadows turns on the laugh track.

This movie, based on the 1966-1971 supernatural soap opera, turns out to take its source material not so seriously. When the buried undead bloodsucker Barnabas Collins is freed from his tomb in the year 1972, he finds the time period … a little funky.


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