- An early version of Beetlejuice’s script included a void that was a giant watch, which would have provided more insight into how time moves in the afterlife.
- The giant clock void seemingly shredded the fabric of space and time, explaining the temporal changes in the afterlife.
- The temporal differences in the afterlife of Beetlejuice could explain why Beetlejuice returns after 36 years in the sequel and why Adam and Barbara aren’t back for it.
An early Beetlejuice script saw the Maitlands fall into a very different “limbo” world than the one inhabited by Sandworms, which would have helped explain the mysterious way that time moves in the afterlife. After dying in Beetlejuice’s opening sequence, Barbara and Adam Maitland (Geena Davis and Alec Baldwin) slowly learn the rules of the afterlife through either trial and error or guidance from the Handbook for the Recently Deceased. When first accepting their fates, the Maitlands learn some big truths about the afterlife by stepping into a world in which time movies incredibly slowly.
At the beginning of Beetlejuice’s story, Adam attempts to leave their home only to find himself in the empty Sandworm-ridden world of Saturn when he steps outside. After only a few moments of trying to understand his vast surroundings, Adam steps back inside and is told by Barbara that he had been gone for two hours. The passage of time in locations of the afterlife continues to be different than in the world of the living, with only a few hours in the Neitherworld correlating to several months back home. While the differences in time aren’t explained in detail during Beetlejuice, a cut version of the void that Adam steps into could have given some more crucial information.
Beetlejuice’s Cut First Void Was A Massive Watch
In an early version of Beetlejuice’s screenplay, Adam would have stepped out into a “limbo” void that he would later realize was a giant watch. Adam would hear the sound of a clock ticking, with massive gears rolling at him as the ticking continues, shredding the fabric of space and time. Alec Baldwin’s character would have been a tiny speck on a clock, with time and space seemingly distorting when he’s in the void until being pulled back into the house by Barbara. If the void really is a massive clock, then time moving slowly anywhere outside the home is put into a different perspective.
While the line about the afterlife having different “Geographical and Temporal Perimeters” was kept in the final version of Tim Burton’s Beetlejuice, a giant clock being the location outside the house would have better underscored the time changes after death. Additionally, the second time Barbara and Adam try to leave the house in the early script, they still end up in the Saturn world, so keeping the clock void wouldn’t have meant erasing Sandworms from Beetlejuice. It’s unclear whether the watch that Adam landed on was actually the clock from his model, but this also would have been an interesting way to interconnect the temporal changes in the afterlife.
The Afterlife Time Changes Can Explain Beetlejuice’s Return After 36 Years In The Sequel
Even without the deeper exploration of the afterlife’s time changes from Beetlejuice’s early screenplay, the temporal differences could prove to be important in Beetlejuice 2’s story. In Beetlejuice, Barbara and Adam only spend a few hours in Juno’s waiting room before discovering that they’ve been gone for three months. Considering Michael Keaton’s title ghost is given the number “9,998,383,750,000” in Beetlejuice’s 1988 ending, this could explain why he’s finally facing the Deetz family again after 36 years.
Beetlejuice likely stole the tickets of numerous other ghosts during this time period, so Beetlejuice 2 could see him finally returning to his cemetery after being in the Neitherworld waiting room for only a few months in the afterlife timeline but 36 years in the world of the living. This temporal change could also help explain why Adam and Barbara aren’t back for Beetlejuice 2. If they also sought further help from Juno in the Neitherworld and are stuck in a long waiting line, then the original Beetlejuice characters could simply be in the waiting room during the sequel’s events.
Source: The Daily Script