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10+ 'Beetlejuice' Behind The Scenes Secrets Fans Didn't Know

Elizabeth Spina 17 Sep 2020

With Halloween fast-approaching, it's only right that we take a moment to appreciate the timeless, iconic, Halloween classic, Beetlejuice.

It has been 32 years since the release of the movie, starring Michael Keaton, Winona Ryder, Catherine O'Hara, and Geena Davis, and it is still as amazing as ever!

Here are a few BTS secrets about the movie that fans didn't know!

1. It was originally supposed to be a horror film.

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This obviously makes tons of sense. In the original screenplay, Beetlejuice was a full-on scary movie.

It didn't start to take shape as a comedy until Tim Burton and Michael Keaton came along.

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2. They had a very small budget to work with.

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This may come as a surprise, but Beetlejuice had a very mediocre budget to work with from the start, which meant that to achieve the effects they envisioned for the film, they had to get creative!

Many of the effects were done in-camera rather than in post-production.

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3. Most of the cast initially turned down their roles after reading the script.

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Evidently, the Beetlejuice script didn't leave a great first impression on the cast! Michael Keaton, Catherine O’Hara, Winona Ryder, and Sylvia Sidney all turned down the movie after they first read the script.

The only cast member who was genuinely excited to be in the movie was Geena Davis.

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4. It was almost called "Scared Sheetless."

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While it would have been a hilarious name for the film, Warner Bros. ultimately, opted for Beetlejuice instead — even though they were hardly a fan of that title either.

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5. The song "Day-O" was played at Glenn Shadix's funeral in real life.

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When Glenn Shadix, who played Otho in Beetlejuice passed away in 2010, they played one of the film's most iconic songs, "Day-O", at his funeral to pay tribute.

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6. Michael Keaton only had 17.5 minutes of screen time.

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Despite the fact that Michael Keaton played Beetlejuice — the supposed main character and title of the film, he only appeared on-screen for 17.5 minutes of the 92-minute movie.

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7. Michael Keaton improvised many of his lines throughout the film.

Despite only being shown for a measly 17.5 minutes out of a possible 92, Michael managed to improvise almost all of his lines.

In fact, he reportedly ad-libbed about 90% of his lines.

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8. The test audience wanted a happier ending for Beetlejuice.

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During the initial screenings of the film in front of a test audience, the viewers noted that they would have actually preferred a more heart-warming end for Beetlejuice than the one he got.

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9. It's Michael Keaton's favorite project that he's ever worked on.

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Michael Keaton has had an impressive career in Hollywood and has been a part of so many iconic films, Beetlejuice being one of them.

But of all his works, Beetlejuice still takes the cake!

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10. Michael Keaton would love to be a part of the hypothetical Beetlejuice sequel.

Tim Burton has always been against the idea of a Beetlejuice sequel, so it has not come to fruition.

But Michael has openly admitted that he would be happy to reprise his role if the opportunity presented itself.

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11. There is a plot hole that Tim Burton let slide as a courtesy to the cast.

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During the scene where all of the recently deceased people are sitting in the waiting room, they all look exactly as they did when they died, except for the Maitlands, who died by drowning.

Tim Burton decided to spare the actors from having to sit in wet clothes and left them dry instead.

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12. Catherine O’Hara met her husband on the set of the film.

Giphy | O&O, Inc

Catherine O'Hara ended up meeting her future husband, Bo Welch, a production designer, while she was on-set, filming the movie.

Apparently, Bo would typically avoid any interaction with the actors, but when Catherine came along he couldn't resist!

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"Well, I was in “Beetlejuice,” and the production designer, Bo Welch, was very attractive," Catherine told The New Yorker.

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"And he finally asked me out. We went on location at the end of the movie, and we started dating. I moved to L.A. to be with him."

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13. Sammy Davis Jr. was Tim Burton's first choice for the lead role.

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When Tim Burton first got on-board with Beetlejuice, he knew right away that his first choice for the lead role was Sammy Davis Jr.

Unfortunately for Tim, the studio executives were against the idea, and quickly shut it down before deciding on Michael Keaton.

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