But the original script almost gave us something completely different. In one scene we know and love, Geena Davis and Skinny Alec Baldwin try to leave their house, only to find themselves stuck in a desert ruled by claymation Marilyn Manson sand worms. But in the original script, the outside realm was a featureless void full of giant, spinning clock parts. Less fun, more depressing dread.
In the early version, Beetlejuice himself isn't the professional haunter they wanted to hire in the first place -- he's a much more villainous character with "vaguely Middle Eastern features" who ties up and impersonates the real ghost. See, his plan isn't to get rid of the meddlesome mortals; it's to murder them.
Winona Ryder's character also has a nine-year-old sister named Cathy, who was cut from the final film. She can speak to ghosts, and ultimately winds up being violently mauled almost to death by Beetlejuice. Child mauling! Always good for a laugh.
"Where the hell did that exploding fireworks truck come from?"
Luckily, in the end, they shifted the tone of the movie with a few key scene changes, some added dialogue, and slightly less child mauling than the original vision entailed. Hey, sometimes Hollywood is about making compromises. Lose the child-mauling today, and maybe next time you can make a film that's nothing but children getting savagely mauled over and over again while a heartless maniac watches on, rejoicing in their miser--
Oh shit, that was Burton's Charlie And The Chocolate Factory. That's why that movie happened. It all makes sense now.
Johnny Depp really does seem like a better fit for that tone than Michael Keaton.
When not obsessing over pointless pop culture trivia, Henrik Magnusson also enjoys harassing the internet with his comics. You can also go bug him on Twitter.
For more early versions that were nothing like the finished product, check out 6 Famously Terrible Movies That Were Almost Awesome and 6 Baffling First Drafts Of Famous Movies.
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