‘Beetlejuice’ Almost Had a Much Darker Ending for Lydia
Here’s something that’ll make you feel old – Beetlejuice turns 30 today. Tim Burton introduced us to our favorite bio-exorcist on March 30, 1988, and the Michael Keaton film has been a quotable classic ever since. But as much as you know and love the film, it almost has a much darker ending.
As you’ll remember, Beetlejuice ends on a rather jubilant note. Keaton’s Beetlejuice gets his head shrunk while stuck in the afterlife waiting room, and to celebrate getting an A on her math test, Winona Ryder’s Lydia springs into a song and dance number to Harry Belafonte’s “Jump in the Line.” But in a recent interview with Yahoo about the film’s anniversary, producer Larry Wilson revealed Beetlejuice almost took a much bleaker turn, killing off Lydia in a fire:
Our first ending was Lydia — she died in a fire and was able to join Barbara and Adam in the afterlife. 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.
Good point. Lydia (and pretty much Ryder circa 1980s in general) was a huge goth icon to teens, and to show her getting killed in such a brutal fashion, would’ve been a jarring message to send, even for a movie that opens with a fatal car crash. It’s also an especially sour note to close such a cheerfully oddball movie on. Thankfully we can remember Lydia singing in mid-air as the ghostly footballers dance behind her.
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