Thieves have stolen props from the Beetlejuice 2 set, including a 150lb sculpture

Beetlejuice 2 started filming in London in May, about a week after the writers went on strike. Sometime in early summer production relocated to Vermont, to the same town where the original 1988 film was shot. When the actors joined the strike on July 13 filming was shut down, and there’s been mixed reporting on whether or not they had wrapped. Which means that for right now there is still a very distinctive Tim Burton set with related paraphernalia just chilling in Vermont, waiting until production is allowed to come back. Except it seems not all of the set will be there when they return, since Vermont State Police announced they are still on the hunt for large props that were stolen mere days, if not minutes, after the strike went into effect:

A 150-pound sculpture was stolen from the set of the highly anticipated Beetlejuice sequel in Vermont earlier this month, police said.

The theft of the sculpture is believed to have occurred at some point between 5 p.m. on July 13 and 11 a.m. on July 17 from a small cemetery in East Corinth, where the film is being shot.

The work, described as an “abstract art statue” by a news release from the Vermont State Police, is an organic form with nine appendages reaching out from a spine. It is reminiscent of artwork, overseen by production designer Bo Welch, that decorated the home of the film’s Deetz family, though it is not known if this latest sculpture is the piece from the original 1988 film or a recreation.

“We tried saying the name of this stolen statue three times, but it didn’t come back!” Vermont State Police tweeted. “We’re investigating the theft of this 150-pound sculpture from the Beetlejuice 2 set in East Corinth, along with a lamppost topped with a pumpkin decoration.”

The latter theft, according to the police, occurred just a few days earlier. Movie security personnel reported that, just after midnight on July 14, someone backed up an older model GMC pickup truck to a lamppost featuring a “distinctive pumpkin decoration” on Village Road.

The alleged bandit “removed the lamppost from its base, bundled it into the back of the truck, covered it with a tarp, and fled at a high rate of speed.”

It was not immediately clear if the same suspects are behind both thefts.

Tim Burton and Michael Keaton have teamed up once again for the sequel to the director’s 1988 classic, which won an Academy Award for best makeup and hairstyling. Winona Ryder and Catherine O’Hara, who played Lydia and Delia Deetz respectively in the original movie, will reprise their roles in the film; Jenna Ortega, star of Netflix’s Wednesday, has also joined the cast.

[From Artnet]

I don’t condone crime, but this story tickles my funny bone. As a city girl my first reaction was how does someone walk off with a lamppost unseen? Let alone 150 pounds of vertebrate sculpture. East Corinth, Vermont has a population of 545, and most of those individuals have weighed in by now on how they feel about a Hollywood film crew descending on them, again. So even though the town is very very small, they’ve definitely been abuzz and tuned into the Beetlejuice excitement. Which puts me back at my original question: how does theft of heavy, large, unusually-shaped objects happen under these circumstances?!

I want this investigation to be Tim Burton’s next project. Or maybe make it a documentary short to accompany the film’s release, like how we get a short cartoon before a Pixar feature. How great would it be if ghosts were the thieves?! Whether he takes my (fantastic) pitch or not, I hope Tim Burton gives the Vermont State Police a cameo in the movie for their exceptional tweet work: “We tried saying the name of this stolen statue three times, but it didn’t come back!” Perfect, no notes.

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4 Responses to “Thieves have stolen props from the Beetlejuice 2 set, including a 150lb sculpture”

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  1. MrsBanjo says:

    I would love to see a short cartoon about this theft. That would be hilarious. This also makes me wonder which of the other shuttered sets are at risk of theft and if anything has been stolen from them.

  2. HeyJude says:

    Um…Moira Rose is back too?! To hell with Keaton and Burton- that’s the headline.

    • Ruby says:

      Fun fact: Catherine O’Hara is married to production designer Bo Welch. They met while doing the first Beetlejuice movie.

  3. Nanea says:

    Fingers crossed they have a mold for the sculpture, because I don’t think they’ll be able to get it back.

    Same goes for the bepumpkined lamppost.