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‘Beetlejuice 2’ is ‘Closer Than Ever,’ Says Tim Burton

The long-awaited “Beetlejuice” sequel may not be too far off, according to director Tim Burton.

While fans have been crossing their fingers for a “Beetlejuice 2” since the original debuted in 1988, the rumor mill began churning in earnest back in 2013, when Variety reported that Burton and star Michael Keaton were in talks to return to the property.

Earlier this year, Keaton confirmed that he and Burton had discussed the possibility, but that his involvement in any potential sequel was dependent on Burton signing on: “I’ve emailed Tim a couple of times, talked to the writer a couple of times, but all really, really preliminary stuff,” the actor said. “I always said that’s the one thing I’d like to do again, if I ever did anything again. But it kind of required Tim to be involved some way or another.”

Now it appears that Burton may be ready to commit to the project as long as Keaton is on board, telling IGN, “There’s only one Beetlejuice, and that’s Michael. There is a script, and I would love to work with him again. I think there is now a better chance than ever… I miss that character. There’s something that’s cathartic and amazing about it. I think it’s closer than ever.”

As for whether leading lady Winona Ryder would also return for the follow-up, Burton had a pretty definitive answer during an interview with MTV earlier this month: “Oh yeah, yeah yeah yeah,” he said. “Oh yeah, oh yeah. Yeah yeah, oh yeah.”

Keaton is currently riding a wave of Oscar buzz for his performance in Alejandro González Iñárritu’s “Birdman,” while Burton’s latest film, “Big Eyes,” could earn nods for stars Christoph Waltz and Amy Adams. The director has yet to confirm his next project, and recently separated from longtime partner and frequent onscreen collaborator Helena Bonham Carter.

“Big Eyes” bows in theaters on Dec. 25.

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