Tim Burton’s ‘Beetlejuice Beetlejuice’ to open Venice film festival

July 3, 2024 - 4:36 PM
Michael Keaton (Beetlejuice/Facebook)

 “Beetlejuice Beetlejuice”, directed by Tim Burton, will open this year’s Venice Film Festival, bringing with it a slew of Hollywood stars who were largely absent from the Lido red carpet in 2023 because of an actors’ strike.

The long-awaited sequel to Burton’s original 1988 comedy horror classic will be screened out of competition on Aug. 28, giving the 81st edition of the festival a high-profile, glitzy start.

The film sees Michael Keaton return to the lead role, and also stars Winona Ryder, Catherine O’Hara, Monica Bellucci, Willem Dafoe, and Jenna Ortega, who last teamed up with Burton on the hit Netflix show “Wednesday”.

“Venice is honored and proud to host the world premiere of a work that features a surprising swing of creative imagination and driving hallucinatory rhythm,” said festival director Alberto Barbera.

The Venice Film Festival marks the start of the awards season and regularly throws up big favourites for the Oscars.

However, its 2023 edition was overshadowed by an actors’ and writers’ strike in Hollywood that kept many big names away and forced the organisers to ditch their original choice for the prestigious opening slot – “Challengers” starring Zendaya.

The rest of the 2024 line-up is due to be unveiled on July 23, with widespread speculation that Todd Phillips’s “Joker” sequel, starring Joaquin Phoenix and Lady Gaga, will feature along with the action thriller “Wolfs”, which brings together Brad Pitt and George Clooney.

The festival held on the lagoon city’s Lido island, will run from Aug. 28 to Sept. 7, with France’s Isabelle Huppert heading the main competition jury.

—Reporting by Crispian Balmer; Editing by Sharon Singleton