Jenna Ortega is eyeing a role in Tim Burton’s “Beetlejuice 2,” Variety has confirmed.
Ortega, best known for her role as Wednesday Addams in Netflix’s recent series reboot “Wednesday,” is in talks to play the daughter of Lydia Deetz, portrayed by Winona Ryder in the original film. This marks her second time working with Burton, who was an executive producer on “Wednesday” and directed four of its eight episodes. Michael Keaton is also set to reprise his role as the title character.
Representatives for Warner Bros. and Ortega did not immediately respond to Variety‘s request for comment.
The sequel has been in the works at Warner Bros. for some time before Brad Pitt’s production company Plan B officially boarded it in February of last year. The original “Beetlejuice” centers on Charles (Jeffrey Jones), Delia (Catherine O’Hara) and Lydia Deetz (Ryder), who inhabit a home previously occupied by the Maitlands (Alec Baldwin and Geena Davis). The Maitlands died in a car accident, but their ghost selves want to re-inhabit their former house, recruiting Beetlejuice (Keaton), a “bio-exorcist,” to scare away the Deetzes.
Met with critical acclaim, “Beetlejuice” grossed $74 million in North America on a $15 million budget. Variety‘s 1987 review praised Keaton’s performance, saying: “Keaton pops up from his grave to liven things up when the antics pitting the good ghosts against the intruders become a trite cat & mouse game.”
Talks of a sequel surfaced in 2013, when Keaton confirmed that he and Burton were talking about doing a sequel. Burton said in 2014 that he missed the character of Beetlejuice, saying, “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.” Ryder re-confirmed that the film was in the works on a “Late Night With Seth Meyers” appearance in 2015.
The Hot Mic podcast was the first to report the news of her casting.
Ortega is repped by CAA, Gilbertson Entertainment and Jackoway Austen.