Michael Keaton attends the 72nd Annual Golden Globe Awards at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on Jan. 11, 2015 in Beverly Hills, Calif.
Jeff Vespa—WireImage/Getty Images
January 12, 2015 12:28 PM EST

Michael Keaton’s rather meta take on a washed-up actor who used to play a superhero in Birdman (a kind of in-joke given that Keaton himself played Batman in his younger days) has won him a Golden Globe and placed him at the top of many Oscar prediction lists. Now, screenwriter Seth Grahame-Smith is hoping Keaton will return to another iconic role: Beetlejuice.

Grahame-Smith, whom director Tim Burton has asked to pen a sequel to the 1988 dark comedy, says he rejected the idea of rebooting the film with a new actor. Instead, he’s writing another humorous horror film that will take place in the present-day and allow Keaton to reprise his cackling, lecherous living-dead go-between.

Grahame-Smith told The Hollywood Reporter that Keaton advised him “less is more” when it comes to Beetlejuice, noting that in the original movie, the titular character doesn’t appear until he’s finally summoned midway through.

Burton said Beetlejuice 2 was “closer than ever” late last year, adding “There’s one Beetlejuice, and that’s Michael.”


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Write to Eliana Dockterman at eliana.dockterman@time.com.

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