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Villain Overview
It's showtime!
~ Betelgeuse's catchphrase.
Ah. Well. I attended Juilliard. I'm a graduate of Harvard Business School. I traveled quite extensively. I lived through the Black Plague and I had a pretty good time during that. I've seen The Exorcist about 167 times! And it keeps getting funnier EVERY SINGLE TIME I SEE IT! NOT TO MENTION THE FACT THAT YOU'RE TALKING TO A DEAD GUY! NOW, WHAT DO YOU THINK?! You think I'm qualified?
~ Betelgeuse on his qualifications.

Betelgeuse, also known as Beetlejuice, is the titular main antagonist of the 1988 horror comedy film Beetlejuice, and the anti-heroic protagonist of the spinoff animated television series of the same name.

He was portrayed by Michael Keaton in his first villainous role, who also played the Vulture in Spider-Man: Homecoming, Chick Hicks in Disney/Pixar's Cars, Ken in Disney/Pixar's Toy Story 3, and V.A. Vandevere in the 2019 live-action remake of Dumbo. In the animated series, he was voiced by Stephen Ouimette.

Appearance

Beetlejuice's appearance is consistent with what a deceased corpse generally looks like: his skin is decayed with a pale chalky coloring, his eyes are surrounded by thick black rings of decay, and his teeth and fingernails are severely decreased and discolored. Beetlejuice's hair is an odd putrid green color that sticks out at all ends. His outfit consists of matching black and white striped pants and a blazer, with a white undershirt, and black tie.

Personality

Beetlejuice's personality varied significantly between the TV series and the film; while still being an agent of chaos and a fairly macabre and objectionable character, he was more heroic than he had originally been portrayed in the film and even had a human friend (which contrasts his personality in the original film, where he labeled himself a "bio-exorcist").

In the film, Betelgeuse is shown to have the personality of a demented con artist who used Adam and Barbara Maitland in order to cause chaos upon the residents of their home. He tends to also have a temper when anyone interferes with his "work" and known to keep grudges.

Betelgeuse has shown to be quite nasty as he tries to sexually assault Barbara numerous times and also has a somewhat demented fondness for Lydia even though he was also using her to be free to cause chaos among the living.

Beetlejuice has shown that he is a foul-mouthed, demented, and troublesome ghost who seems to only care about himself and the chaos he brings in which he sees as his profession. Although it's proven that he cares nothing for the living and would even potentially kill someone due to his tricks and won't care. Betelgeuse also has no sense of boundaries and is outright disgusting and obnoxious.

Biography

Backstory

Beetlejuice is a freelance poltergeist who specializes in the art of "Bio-exorcism", the act of scaring living occupants out of their own house. During the film, Betelgeuse lives in exile inside of a small miniature remake of the town of Winter River, buried in the model town's graveyard. Beetlejuice can only be resurfaced by manually traveling to the town and being re-dug from his grave, and if his employers hire him can then on be instantly summoned by reciting his name three times in a row. Betelgeuse's date of birth and death are unknown but it is known by context that he died a long time ago, and has been enjoying his afterlife for what has most likely been centuries.

Beetlejuice

In the film, Beetlejuice was darker and more openly malicious than he would become in the cartoons, arguably being one of the main antagonists, though he also acted as a benefactor of sorts to the heroes; though there was no attempt to hide the fact that Beetlejuice was not meant to be a nice character, even the heroes who summoned him knew that he was, pretty much, a demon. But Beetlejuice was still used as a force of (relative) good, as his chaos was directed largely at a group of human antagonists, though he was still rude, obnoxious, and hostile towards the heroes as well, not to mention the fact that he also tried to force one of the main characters to be his unwilling bride, much to her disgust.

Beetlejuice: The Animated Series

In the animated series, Beetlejuice was depicted as being more heroic (though he would still be a bit dishonest sometimes). He is often referred to as "BJ" for short. A recurring gag has him using figures of speech and idioms and then changing himself and/or his surroundings to match the pun (e.g., if he says something bugs him, he will turn into an insect).

Trivia

  • Originally, Beetlejuice was an assistant to Juno until he went on his own as a freelance bio-exorcist until Juno banished him in a model cemetery. It was not long until he was released from his prison and once again spread chaos.
  • Beetlejuice's appearance in the original script had him as a tall, black, winged demon, that could transform into the appearance of a small middle eastern man.
  • Originally, Tim Burton wanted Sammy Davis Jr. and then Dudley Moore to play the role of Beetlejuice.
  • In 2011, an American dubstep producer known as Figure, released a track by the name Beetlejuice. In the track, Beetlejuice's voice is featured, and Beetlejuice is used as the cover-art of the track.
  • Beetlejuice made a cameo appearance in the 2018 sci-fi film Ready Player One.
  • Despite being the main villain, he had little screen-time.

Navigation

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Animated Features
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Live Action Films
Scut Farkus | Grover Dill | Gremlins (Stripe, Brain Gremlin, Daffy, George, Lenny, Bat Gremlin & Electric Gremlin) | Ruby Deagle | Mama Fratelli | Audrey II | Orin Scrivello | Mr. Igoe | Beetlejuice | Sandworms | Witches (Grand High Witch, Susan Irvine, Nicola Cuttle, Pamela, Lois Leffour, Mildred, Elizabeth, Henrietta, Jacqueline & Beatrice) | Cushing Catheter | Clarice Kensington | Lawrence Van Dough | Ferguson | Miss Minchin | Mr. Swackhammer | Monstars | Martians (Martian Leader, Martian Ambassador & Martian Girl) | John Wesley | Susan McAlester | Jim Whitlock | Mako Sharks | Mr. Tinkles | Thrax | Mayor Phlegmming | Bruiser | Joe Cramp | Thrax's Henchmen | Scrappy-Doo | N' Goo Tuana | Zarkos | Demons | Luna Ghost | Spiders (Consuela & Tank) | Mr. Chairman | Bob Smith | Jonathan Jacobo | Arthur Slugworth | Agent 23 | Siegfried | Dalip | Principal Deedle | Ezekial Gallows | Prudence Prufrock | Decoy Queen | Kitty Galore | Paws | Mayor Brown | Wanda Grubwort | Lake Monster | Angelique Bouchard | Dr. Julia Hoffman | Precursors | Kaiju (Trespasser, Knifehead, Mutavore, Otachi, Leatherback, Raiju, Scunner & Slattern) | M.U.T.O. | Victoria Vinciguerra | Léon Rom | Skullcrawlers (Skull Devil) | Preston Packard | Mathias Vogel | Ana Miller | Nolan Sorrento | Innovative Online Industries (I-R0k, F’Nale Zandor & Sixers) | Claire Wyden | Brett Wyden | George, Ralph and Lizzie | The Meg | Jack Morris | Shere Khan | Tabaqui | Howard Clifford | Ditto | Sebastian | Ann Laurent | King Ghidorah | Rodan | Alan Jonah | Asher Jonah | Emma Russell | The Banana Splits | Karl

Shorts
Daffy Duck | Sylvester | Tasmanian Devil | Wile E. Coyote | Elmer Fudd | Yosemite Sam | Marvin the Martian | Instant Martians | Gossamer | Tom | Jerry | Spike

Television
The Grinch | Cousin Mel | Snow Miser | Heat Miser | North Wind

           Tim Burton LogoVillains

Movies
Beetlejuice: Beetlejuice
Batman (1989): Joker | Bob Hawkins | Alicia Hunt | Carl Grissom | Max Eckhardt | Vinnie Ricorso | Joe Chill |
Edward Scissorhands: Jim
Batman Returns: Penguin | Red Triangle Circus Gang (Organ Grinder, Poodle Lady, Tattooed Strongman, Stungun Clown, Thin Clown, Fat Clown, Sword Swallower & Knifethrower Dame) | Max Shreck | Catwoman | Charles "Chip" Shreck
The Nightmare Before Christmas: Oogie Boogie | Lock, Shock and Barrel
Batman Forever: Riddler | Two-Face | Sugar | Spice | NygmaTech (Frogmen) | Neon Gang (Neon Gang Leader) | Salvatore Maroni
James and the Giant Peach: Aunt Sponge | Aunt Spiker | Rhino | Skeleton Pirates | Shark
Mars Attacks!: Martian Leader | Martians (Martian Ambassador & Martian Girl)
Sleepy Hollow (1999): Lady Van Tassel | Headless Horseman | Reverend Steenwyck
Planet of the Apes (2001) General Thade | Attar
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory: Arthur Slugworth
Corpse Bride: Barkis Bittern | Maudeline Everglot
Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street: Sweeney Todd | Mrs. Lovett | Judge Turpin | Beadle Bamford | Jonas Fogg | Adolfo Pirelli
9: Fabrication Machine | 1 | 8 | Machines (Cat Beast, Winged Beast, Seamstress, Steel Behemoths, Seeker Drones & Spiderbots) | Chancellor Fredinand | The Chancellor's Party
Alice in Wonderland (2010): Red Queen | Knave of Hearts | Card Soldiers | The Jabberwock | Jubjub Bird | Hamish Ascot
Dark Shadows: Angelique Bouchard | Julia Hoffman
Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter: Adam
Frankenweenie: Mr. Whiskers | Shelley | Were-Rat | Sea Monkeys | Mr. Burgermeister
Big Eyes: Walter Keane
Miss Peregrine's Homes for Peculiar Children: Mr. Barron
Dumbo (2019): V.A. Vandevere | Neils Skellig | Pink Elephants | Rufus Sorghum

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