- Costume designer confirms Michael Keaton’s iconic striped suit will be featured in Beetlejuice 2, despite Keaton preferring a different look.
- The sequel will see the return of Keaton’s character and older versions of Lydia and Delia Deetz, along with new characters.
- Production on Beetlejuice 2 is paused due to the ongoing strike, but the striped suit is considered the quintessential Beetlejuice look.
Beetlejuice 2 costume designer Colleen Atwood confirms the sequel will feature the return of Michael Keaton’s 35-year-old iconic striped suit costume. The sequel to Tim Burton’s 1988 horror comedy will see the return of Keaton’s slimy, quick-talking bio-exorcist and an older Lydia Deetz portrayed by Winona Ryder alongside her stepmother, Catherine O’Hara’s Delia Deetz. The Beetlejuice 2 cast will also include Jenna Ortega, Willem Defoe, Justin Theroux, and Monica Bellucci as new characters, including new family members and all-new residents of the afterlife.
While production on Beetlejuice 2 is paused due to the ongoing SAG-AFTRA strike for fairer pay and career protections, costume designer Atwood revealed to ComicBook.com that the titular character’s iconic black-and-white striped suit was a priority returning look for the sequel. While the costume designer emphasized how the look was incredibly recognizable and intertwined with the overall character, she admitted that Keaton felt a different look was a more recognizable appearance when he suggested the character’s tattered burgundy tuxedo from the movie’s wedding climax. Check out Atwood’s full explanation below:
“Well Beetlejuice has to have a striped suit. It’s like doing Alice in Wonderland needs a blue dress. How long they wear it is another thing. But Beetlejuice, that is the quintessential Beetlejuice. Strangely, it was Michael, he thinks the burgundy tux is the quintessential Beetlejuice, not the striped suit,” she added with a laugh. “But the world happens to disagree with him, so it’s a funny thing.”
Why Betelgeuse’s Black-and-White Suit Is His Most Important Look To Tim Burton And The Wider Beetlejuice Franchise
Though the burgundy suit that Betelgeuse wears at the end of Beetlejuice is memorable, his striped suit is the look that has more significance to both the movie and its creator. Not only is Beetelgeuse’s suit worn throughout his haunting scenes of the Deetz family and their guests, but the stripes are also featured on the sandworm. The frequent use of this stripe visual motif in both Beetlejuice and Burton’s wider filmography can be attributed to his German Expressionism movement inspirations, where highly contrasting patterns and shapes were used to create a sense of distortion and unease through imagery that stood out to a viewer.
Beyond taking heavy inspiration from the director’s own cinematic interests, the striped suit is also the outfit more commonly seen throughout Beetlejuice‘s marketing and wider merchandising efforts. Not only was Keeton’s character wearing the outfit on the movie’s posters and home release packaging, but other releases, such as the 1989 animated spin-off and LEGO Dimensions video game DLC inspired by the show would use this design. Even 2019’s Beetlejuice Broadway musical adaptation would feature this outfit with some additions and adjustments to help the show stand apart from its source material, including a tattered coat that further solidified it as Betelgeuse’s most recognizable look.
While there was no doubt the black-and-white suit would feature in Beetlejuice 2 in some form due to its lasting legacy, Atwood’s response emphasizes how important it was to the production to feature the outfit. With its larger ties to Burton’s style and wider usage, it is hard to imagine the character not at the very least donning something about it. With roughly 35 years between the sequel and the original, it raises questions whether the costume could feature some reinventions.