- Willem Dafoe’s character in Beetlejuice 2 is a B-movie action star turned afterlife detective.
- Dafoe’s character appears to be replacing Beetlejuice‘s Juno as the primary afterlife civil servant in the sequel.
- Since Dafoe’s character seemingly didn’t die by suicide, his role raises questions about civil servants and the ghost profession rules in Beetlejuice 2.
Willem Dafoe has recently revealed details about his new Beetlejuice 2 character, who appears to be the replacement for a beloved ghost from the original movie. While Beetlejuice 2’s cast is bringing back a few original actors to reprise their roles, including Michael Keaton as Beetlejuice, Winona Ryder as Lydia Deetz, and Catherine O’Hara as Delia Deetz, Tim Burton’s long-awaited sequel is introducing a slew of new living and deceased characters alike after 36 years. Some of the new faces joining 2024’s Beetlejuice 2 are Jenna Ortega as Lydia’s daughter, Justin Theroux as an undisclosed character, and Willem Dafoe as an afterlife detective.
Outside the reveal that Jenna Ortega’s character is Lydia’s daughter, Willem Dafoe’s unnamed Beetlejuice 2 ghost is the sequel’s first new character to receive a more specific, official description from their actor. Dafoe revealed that his Beetlejuice 2 character was a B-movie action star when he was still alive, but died during a tragic accident. Because of his acting and action-oriented skills in life, Dafoe explained that he became a police officer in the afterlife. With the first new ghost in Tim Burton’s long-awaited sequel finally receiving more details, there are some crucial clues to how Dafoe will factor into the plot, and which original Beetlejuice character he seems to be replacing.
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Willem Dafoe’s Afterlife Detective Is Set Up To Replace Beetlejuice’s Juno
The description of Willem Dafoe’s Beetlejuice 2 character suggests that he’ll be stepping into a similar role played in the original movie by Sylvia Sidney’s Juno. The 1988 Beetlejuice movie introduced Juno as not only the newly-deceased Adam and Barbara Maitland’s afterlife caseworker, but also the former boss of Keaton’s devious Beetlejuice. Juno was the primary character providing guidance, information, and a ghostly connection to Adam and Barbara in the afterlife, and she frequently warned the married couple to keep their distance from the titular poltergeist. While Adam and Barbara aren’t confirmed to return in Beetlejuice 2, Dafoe appears to be the sequel’s new primary afterlife civil servant.
Adam and Barbara Maitland, played respectively by Alec Baldwin and Geena Davis, are not confirmed to be involved in Beetlejuice 2, despite being the original movie’s main characters.
Sadly, Sylvia Sidney passed away in 1999, so the fan-favorite original character Juno can’t return for Beetlejuice 2 unless she is recast, which would be a mistake for the sequel. However, Dafoe’s character, as a detective for the deceased, is likely to be the one warning against and trying to capture the trouble-making Beetlejuice. This puts him in a position to replace Juno without directly standing in for her as a caseworker, and allows for a similar role in expanding the lore of Beetlejuice’s afterlife with its many complex rules, bureaucratic designations, and relationships with the living.
Willem Dafoe’s Character Raises A Huge Question About Beetlejuice 2’s Ghost Profession Rules
With Willem Dafoe revealing that his character is a “police officer,” the manner in which he achieved this position in the afterlife becomes more confusing. Beetlejuice confirmed that those who died by suicide become civil servants in the afterlife, with each of these ghosts in the Neitherworld wearing the scars of such deaths – Juno included. However, Dafoe explained that his movie star-turned-police officer character died in an accident, which doesn’t appear to be a case of death by suicide. Consequently, it begs the question of whether those who don’t die by suicide can still be designated as civil servants, or if they can volunteer for the job.
While it’s still possible that the “accident” leading to the death of Dafoe’s character was suicide, thus forcing him into a civil servant position, it would also make sense if he opted to take on the detective role on his own accord. Dafoe suggested that his Beetlejuice 2 persona is still influenced by the thrills and performative nature of his former acting career, and being a detective hunting down mischievous ghosts seemingly fills that void. Plenty of questions still remain about Dafoe’s place in Beetlejuice 2’s story and how he’ll fit into the Deetz family’s conflict, but he appears to be a worthy way to honor the humor and function of Juno in the original horror-comedy.
- Release Date:
- Tim Burton
- Michael Keaton, Jenna Ortega, Winona Ryder, Monica Bellucci, Willem Dafoe, Justin Theroux, Catherine O’Hara
- Not Yet Rated
- Comedy, Supernatural
- Mike Vukadinovich
- KatzSmith Productions, Tim Burton Productions, Warner Bros. Pictures, Plan B Entertainment
- Warner Bros. Pictures