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Jenna Ortega in Talks to Play Winona Ryder's Daughter in 'Beetlejuice 2'

By Daniel S. Levine,

2023-03-14

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After working extensively with Tim Burton on Wednesday , Jenna Ortega is reportedly in talks to star in the long-gestating Beetlejuice sequel. Ortega would star as the daughter of Lydia Deetz, the character played by Winona Rider in the beloved 1988 film. The news also comes as Ortega is starring in Scream VI , which just had the highest-grossing opening in the franchise's history.

Ortega is "circline" a role in Beetlejuice 2 , reports The Hollywood Reporter . Warner Bros., which will produce the film, and Ortega's reps have not commented on the reports. Sources told THR production could start as early as late May or early June in London. Burton and star Michael Keaton are both expected to return. The Hot Mic podcast was the first to report Ortega was in talks to star in Beetlejuice 2 .

The original Beetlejuice hit theaters in March 1988 and was written by Michael McDowell and Warren Skaaren, from a story by McDowell and Larry Wilson. Alec Baldwin and Geena Davis starred as a recently deceased couple who hire Betelgeuse (Keaton) to help them haunt their home to scare away the new inhabitants, the Deetz. Jeffrey Jones and Catherine O'Hara played the Deetz, with Ryder as their daughter Lydia.

Beetlejuice was a big hit, grossing $74.7 million on a $15 million budget, and earned the 1989 Oscar for Best Makeup. There have been talks about a Beetlejuice sequel since the moment it was clear that the film was a hit, but one never materialized. Keaton revived interest in the project in 2013, and he and Burton were frequently asked about the project. It's unclear if Ryder is still involved, but she told Seth Meyers a sequel was in development in 2015. There was a popular animated series that aired between 1989 and 1991, and the film was adapted into a hit Broadway musical.

Ortega recently starred as Wednesday Addams in the hit Netflix series Wednesday . Burton was an executive producer on the show and directed the first four episodes. Ortega also joined the Scream franchise as Tara Carpenter in the 2022 Scream and reprised the role in Scream VI . Her other horror projects include Insidious: Chapter 2, The Babysitter: Killer Queen, Studio 666, X , and American Carnage . She played Ellie Alves in the second season of Netflix's You . Ortega hosted Saturday Night Live for the first time over the weekend.

Last year, Ortega told The Hollywood Reporter she enjoyed working with Burton on the first season of Wednesday . "It's been quite an insane experience," Ortega said. "I've been lucky enough to get the opportunity to work with an iconic director who just so happens to be one of the sweetest directors I've worked with, and also the most detail-oriented." Wednesday was renewed for a second season, but it's unclear if Burton will direct any more episodes.

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