Michael Keaton’s Defeat In Beetlejuice 2 Was Perfectly Revealed By A Forgotten Character In The Original Movie


  • An exorcism may be the key to defeating Beetlejuice for good, as hinted by an overlooked janitor character in the original film.
  • Beetlejuice’s second death through an exorcism in the sequel would provide a climactic twist and prevent his return for a potential third film.
  • The concept of an exorcism would flip the original stressful ending, offering a new perspective while tying into the wider lore of the Beetlejuice universe.

The Deetzes have to go up against Michael Keaton’s titular poltergeist for the second time in Beetlejuice 2, with the key to his defeat having been revealed by an often-forgotten original character. Though plot details for Beetlejuice 2 have largely been kept under wraps, the official synopsis and first teaser trailer for Beetlejuice Beetlejuice reveal that the sequel will see the Deetzes reunite in Winter River after a tragic death, leading to chaos with Keaton’s character in the realms of both the living and the dead. Consequently, a major battle between the Deetzes and Beetlejuice is expected ahead of the sequel’s ending.

While Lydia, Delia, Charles, and the Maitlands were successful in banishing Michael Keaton’s character back to the afterlife in Beetlejuice’s original ending, they didn’t get rid of the devious ghost for good. As such, defeating Michael Keaton in Beetlejuice 2 will require a different approach by the remaining members of the Deetz family tree, especially if they intend to rid both realms of his mischief once and for all. Though it could throw a wrench in potential plans for expanding the franchise further, the 1988 Tim Burton movie already revealed a surefire way for the Deetzes to overpower Beetlejuice in the 2024 sequel.

Beetlejuice Beetlejuice
will premiere in theaters on September 6, 2024.
(1988) is available to rent or purchase from digital retailers like Amaozn Prime Video and YouTube.

Beetlejuice’s Neitherworld Janitor Revealed That Exorcisms Are “Death For The Dead”

An exorcism could be how the Deetzes stop Beetlejuice

When Alec Baldwin and Geena Davis’ Adam and Barbara Maitland first enter the Neitherworld, they explore the halls in the afterlife and happen upon the “Lost Souls’ Room.” Briefly, a blue-tinted deceased janitor (Simmy Bow) talks to the ghostly couple and informs them that the souls in that room were exorcised, with exorcism being “death for the dead.” The janitor’s quick appearance before Beetlejuice’s chaos makes him a character who is often forgotten in the wider scope of the story, but his words about exorcisms come back at the 1988 film’s climax with Michael Keaton’s character.

The janitor’s quick appearance… makes him a character who is often forgotten in the wider scope of the story, but his words about exorcisms come back at the 1988 film’s climax.

Adam and Barbara would soon find out the terrible truth about the janitor’s warnings regarding exorcisms for themselves. Toward the end of the original film, Otho – intending to perform a seance – accidentally begins reading the words to perform an exorcism from Beetlejuice’s Handbook for the Recently Deceased, which quickly causes the Maitlands to deteriorate into skeletons and slowly crumble away. Consequently, Winona Ryder’s teenage Lydia Deetz rushes to recruit Beetlejuice’s help as a last resort, with his interference ultimately saving the Maitlands, who were only moments away from joining the Lost Souls’ Room.

With the Maitlands being rescued just in the nick of time, Beetlejuice has yet to show a fully performed exorcism. It was clear that there was no way for Adam and Barbara to combat the effects of the exorcism on their own once it had begun, so it seems that this would be the best way for Lydia, Delia, and Astrid to take down Beetlejuice in the upcoming sequel. Considering his character noted how “funny” he thought William Friedkin’s The Exorcist movie was all 167 times he watched it, having an exorcism performed on him in Beetlejuice 2 would become somewhat ironic.


Beetlejuice 2 All But Confirms We’ll Never See 1 Missing Character From The Original Movie

A teased scene from the first trailer for Beetlejuice 2 suggests that an unseen character from the original movie still won’t appear in the sequel.

An Exorcism Would Be The Only Way To Get Rid Of Michael Keaton’s Beetlejuice For Good

Not even Beetlejuice could escape this fate

After already going up against Beetlejuice once back in 1988, the Deetzes are going to make sure that there’s no risk of another run-in with him again after the 2024 horror-comedy. From what the original Beetlejuice movie revealed, the only way to ensure that Michael Keaton’s character could never return would be for Lydia and her family to perform an exorcism on him, thus sending the “bio-exorcist” to the Neitherworld’s Lost Souls’ Room. While other ghosts could spot him in that room from the hallway, it seems unlikely that he could ever escape the ominous “death for the dead.”

Unless Beetlejuice is exorcised, there’s always the possibility that he could return after another 36 or so years, just as he does following Charles Deetz’s death in Beetlejuice 2. Furthermore, it would certainly make for an even more climactic ending than the 1988 original Beetlejuice film if the sequel concluded with Beetlejuice’s second death. Such a fate could also cleverly mirror his final scene in Beetlejuice, which saw him return to the realm of the dead as he was forced to stay in the Neitherworld waiting room. This time, however, he would be banished to the Neitherworld’s inescapable Lost Souls’ Room.


Beetlejuice 2 Update May Have Just Spoiled A Major Returning Character’s Ending, 7 Months Early

Seven months before its premiere in theaters, a new tease about Beetlejuice 2 may hint at how the long-awaited sequel will end for a major character.

Beetlejuice 2 Using An Exorcism Would Flip The Original’s Stressful Ending

Adam and Barbara experienced an exorcism before it was cut short

Alec Baldwin as Adam Maitland and Geena Davis as Barbara in Beetlejuice
Custom Image by Yailin Chacon

The concept of Beetlejuice’s ghosts being exorcised as an ending twist would be new for the sequel, but the context would certainly be a change. In Beetlejuice’s 1988 ending, audiences are eager to have the exorcism fail so that the Maitlands can be saved, whereas Beetlejuice 2 audiences would be eager to see it succeed so that the Deetzes could be rid of the title character’s terror. Seeing Adam and Barbara wilt away in the original movie was stressful to watch happen, but it would actually be a good sign for Beetlejuice 2’s returning characters in their fight against Beetlejuice.

With Alec Baldwin and Geena Davis’ original characters missing from Beetlejuice 2, the Tim Burton sequel will have to find a clever way to explain their absences from the Winter River house. Since the couple was forced to stay there for another 125 years after their deaths, they logically should still be there during the events of Beetlejuice 2. Hopefully, however, Adam and Barbara’s absences are the result of their own pursuits in finding a loophole to their haunting sentence. Considering they already experienced one in 1988, it would be disappointing if the sequel explained their lack of an appearance by suggesting that they were exorcised in the time after Beetlejuice.

Michael Keaton’s Character Being Exorcised Would Complicate A Potential Beetlejuice 3

Bringing Keaton back would prove difficult

Though an exorcism would be the perfect way for the Deetzes to get rid of Beetlejuice forever, the permanent nature of his “death for the dead” would suggest that Beetlejuice 3 could never happen. Director Tim Burton hasn’t made any direct hints about another Beetlejuice movie after the 2024 installment, but the official title of the sequel being Beetlejuice Beetlejuice sets up the potential for a trilogy, as saying “Beetlejuice Beetlejuice Beetlejuice” summons or banishes the titular character. However, if he ends up being exorcised in Beetlejuice 2, the franchise would certainly have a difficult time bringing Michael Keaton back for a third movie.

Beetlejuice 2 movie poster

Beetlejuice Beetlejuice

Beetlejuice Beetlejuice is the sequel to the original Tim Burton classic that starred Michael Keaton and Wynona Rider in a horror-comedy that involved ghosts trying to scare off new homebuyers from taking their house. The sequel brings back Michael Keaton as the hilarious and sleazy ghost with selfish intentions, now joined by Jenna Ortega in a new role.

Release Date
September 6, 2024

Warner Bros. Pictures