Beetlejuice (1988) is a really awesome movie. We all know this, and if you disagree, I’ll be forced to enlighten you on all the ways you’re wrong. Sorry, I wouldn’t take any pleasure in it, but it would have to be done.
Chances are just about everybody reading this website has seen Beetlejuice at least once, if not multiple times. After all, Michael Keaton’s wisecracking, duplicitous ghoul is an icon of pop culture for a reason.
However, here’s something you may not be aware of, at least I certainly wasn’t. As revealed during a recent interview with Yahoo by producer Larry Wilson, Beetlejuice originally had a much darker ending that saw fan favorite character Lydia Deetz (Winona Ryder) die.
“Our first ending was Lydia — she died in a fire and was able to join Barbara and Adam in the afterlife,” Wilson said with a sheepish grin. “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.”
While Wilson and the rest of the Beetlejuice team were probably right to go with a happier climax, you have to admit that seeing Lydia join Barbara and Adam as a ghost wouldn’t have necessarily been entirely depressing. After all, her living family was pretty terrible.
Plus, it’s not like Beetlejuice shied away from being macabre and making light of both life and death issues. It arguably would have been more in line with the spirit of the rest of the film to have Lydia embrace being dead.