Study Guide

Beetlejuice What's Up With the Title?

What's Up With the Title?

Even though he only gets about 17 minutes of screen time, Beetlejuice the movie is named for the troublemaking ghost at the center of the action, Betelgeuse.

The Ghost with the Most takes top billing.

But it almost wasn't so. Betelgeuse the character was named for Betelgeuse the star (a.k.a. Alpha Orionis). That meant the name and the title were way too think-y for the movie studio's taste. Would the American public really make the connection between a fast-talking ghoul and the ninth-brightest star in the night sky?

Probably not.

The studio wanted to dumb down the title. Tim Burton was getting pretty weary at this point so he jokingly suggested the titles House Ghosts and Scared Sheetless. The studio execs didn't realize he was trying to be funny and thought those were swell options.

Sigh.

Fortunately, everyone came to their senses and let Betelgeuse be Beetlejuice.

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