Lydia Deetz Is a TV Horror Host in Beetlejuice Beetlejuice


Turns out the Elvira-inspired intro to the Beetlejuice Beetlejuice trailer is rooted in a new character development for the grown-up Lydia Deetz (Winona Ryder).

In a new interview with Ryder in Empire, we learn that after the events of 1988’s Beetlejuice, the goth teen icon known for her deadpan delivery and penchant for ghost photography leaned into her relationship with the dead to “host her own TV series: Ghost House With Lydia Deetz.” We cannot wait to see what that entails, and if it will be a way to explore how the Maitlands might have moved on once they resolved their unfinished business—when alive, they’d longed to be parents; at the end of Beetlejuice, they’re shown to be helping raise Lydia—and crossed over. Original film stars Geena Davis and Alec Baldwin are notably absent from the announced cast list of Warner Bros. upcoming sequel to Tim Burton’s Beetlejuice.

Ryder talked about returning as an older Lydia and reuniting with director Burton along with co-stars Michael Keaton and Catherine O’Hara. “I struggle to find the words,” Ryder told the magazine. “It’s just one of the most special experiences that I’ve ever had. The fact that we’re coming back to it, it’s… It’s beyond.” She also added, “This is a first for me. I’ve never revisited a character, ever.”

From the looks of it, Lydia is that Gen X goth adult whose look may have shifted slightly but remains curated in black with her iconic spiked bangs and smudgy charcoal eyeliner. In the clip of her with the Elvira dress homage, it’s clear Burton is once again paying tribute to how horror hosts evoke that effortless dark demeanor with a bit of camp that younger generations might not get. And it makes sense, because one of the things Burton wants to tackle with Beetlejuice Beetlejuice is what happens when the weird goth kid grows up. He put a lot of his personal experience in Lydia’s new story, he told Empire. “The new film became very personal to me, through the Lydia character,” he said. “What happened to Lydia? You know, what happens to people? What happens to all of us? What’s your journey from a gothic kind of weird teenager to what happens to you 35 years later?”

This was key to Ryder’s journey of finding Lydia for the film. “I went through so many stages of, ‘Who is she now?’, but I always wanted to have it be Lydia. She can’t lose who she was,” she said. For one thing, she’s now mom to Astrid (played by Wednesday’s Jenna Ortega) who becomes involved with the summoning of Beetlejuice, bringing back Lydia’s memories of the past but also causing her to reflect who she’s become in the time since: “She can’t be the same person, she can’t be just completely deadpan, she has to have evolved, but she also has to have kept that thing she had when we first met her. So that was the big challenge for me.”

BEETLEJUICE BEETLEJUICE | Official Trailer

Beetlejuice Beetlejuice opens September 6 in theaters.


Want more io9 news? Check out when to expect the latest Marvel and Star Wars releases, what’s next for the DC Universe on film and TV, and everything you need to know about House of the Dragon and Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power.



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