We Told Her She Was Shooting Beetlejuice 2



  • Haunted Mansion director Justin Simien claims that he kidnapped Winona Ryder from the set of Beetlejuice 2.
  • Winona Ryder’s appearance as Pat, the tour guide, adds a strong sense of humor to the film and brings laughter with every off-hand phrase.
  • While Simien joked about kidnapping Ryder, her casting was based on her talent and the perfect fit for the role.



In order to get Winona Ryder on set for Haunted Mansion, director Justin Simien may have had to kidnap the Beetlejuice 2 star. A film adaptation of the Disney theme park Haunted Mansion ride, Haunted Mansion follows mother and son duo Gabbie (Rosario Dawson) and Travis (Chase Dillon) as they desperately try to find a way to rid their new home of any supernatural dwellers. Despite having a $150 million budget, the film is struggling at the box office after an opening weekend that fell under $30 million.

The film does have a strong sense of humor, which is buoyed by Winona Ryder’s appearance as Pat, a tour guide that walks everyone through the many props at the Crump estate. In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Simien joked that she was brought in after kidnapping her off of the set of Beetlejuice 2. Check out his quote below:

“We kidnapped her. We told her that she was shooting Beetlejuice 2, and she just went with it for a while until she caught on. Carmen Cuba, the casting director, myself, and the studio were really enamored with this idea of plugging in classic faces in these cameo roles, and it just felt so right that she’d be the tour guide at the end of the movie. She was just so delightfully weird and funny in her performance, and it was a super magical time having her on this project.”

Simien almost certainly did not actually kidnap Ryder. Cast for her history and humor, she was a delightful part of the film that brought laughter with every off-hand phrase. Haunted Mansion is all about horror, but every good movie needs a sense of humor, and Ryder brought it.

Winona Ryder Was Perfect In Haunted Mansion

Haunted Mansion characters looking at a crystal ball

It’s hard to find an actor better suited for a project than Ryder is for Haunted Mansion. Having starred in Edward Scissorhands, Stranger Things, and Beetlejuice, Ryder has ample experience with the horror genre. She knows her way around a horror set, which could be exactly why Simien thought he could pull her in with ease. Ryder is the perfect example of an actor known for her horror roles, so a cameo is a great way to show acknowledgment of the great films of the past.

Haunted Mansion isn’t exactly the same level of horror as Stranger Things, of course. The film attempts to mix humor into nearly every scene, while also staying family-friendly enough to secure a PG-13 rating. While it was originally intended to be darker, Haunted Mansion maintains a fairly light-hearted tone where it can. That led to a fairly hopeful ending that stands very much apart from the genre’s typical style. It works well for Ryder, though, who already leaned into comedic horror in Edward Scissorhands.

For Ryder, Haunted Mansion also offers the chance to remind the wider audience of her roots before Beetlejuice 2. The film is set to appear in 2024 and comes decades after Beetlejuice was released in 1988. If Ryder wants to draw attention to the original Beetlejuice before the sequel releases, a major cameo in Haunted Mansion is a brilliant way to drum up attention. Ryder’s cameo was beneficial for Ryder and Haunted Mansion alike. Even despite the movie’s struggles, Haunted Mansion is better because of Ryder’s appearance.

Source: THR

Key Release Dates

  • Beetlejuice 2 Poster