Director Tim Burton's unique blend of whimsy and the macabre has led to unique films like Edward Scissorhands, Sleepy Hollow, and Corpse Bride, with one of his first forays into the horror genre being 1988's Beetlejuice. The film told the tale of two ghosts whose home was invaded by intrusive new residents, forcing the specters to enlist the supernatural entity Beetlejuice (Michael Keaton), to frighten the newcomers away. One of the film's producers, Larry Wilson, recently confirmed that the film ultimately ended with a much darker turn of events.
While the film's ghosts (Alec Baldwin and Geena Davis) were turned off by the new family, they felt a connection with Lydia (Winona Ryder), who was obsessed with the duo. The film ended with Lydia residing with the ghosts while her parents occupied a house nearby, yet Wilson revealed Lydia originally died so she could spend time with the couple in the world of the dead.
"Our first ending was Lydia — she died in a fire and was able to join Barbara and Adam in the afterlife," Wilson shared with Yahoo!. "A couple of people said to us, 'Do you really think that's a good idea? Is that really the message you want to be sending to the teenagers of the world? Die in a fire?' So, yeah, it probably was darker."
The producer also revealed that Lydia wasn't always an only child, with the original concept including a sister for the death-obsessed teen.
"Lydia, the key character in many ways, the portal for so many people, had a sister," Wilson pointed out. "She was the goth; the sister was the straight one. Warren [Skaaren] got rid of the sister, and what a good decision because then it all became about Lydia. That's the [change] I remember most vividly … Warren did a really respectful rewrite, which isn't always the case."
The film spawned an animated series and an upcoming Broadway musical, while an official sequel has yet to manifest. That isn't to say Wilson hasn't already considered some ideas about the continued adventures of these characters.
"I had an idea for a sequel right away and it would have been a continuation of the story," the producer admitted. "Mr. Deetz [Jeffrey Jones] would have developed a crush on Geena Davis's character. That would have been my idea. It would have been driven by character and not driven by a premise."
Last fall, a screenwriter was reportedly tapped to help craft a script for Beetlejuice 2, with no further updates in the months since.
Do you think this ending would have made for a better film? Let us know in the comments below!