Director Tim Burton is well known for making quirky and alternative 'family friendly' flicks, with Beetlejuice (1988) being one of his most well known projects to date. With that said, Burton has also been noted to add in rather non-family friendly scenes in some of his PG rated flicks, just to be... different, I guess?
If you don't know what I'm talking about, maybe the pictures below will refresh your memory.
So hopefully we're all on the same page now, and can agree that Burton has a rather unusual view on what is and isn't suitable for movies aimed at children. Nonetheless, it certainly surprised me to hear that his '88 classic Beetlejuice was originally intended to be a horror flick - and a rather dark one at that.
The original script was a horror film, and featured Beetlejuice as a winged, reptilian demon who transformed into a small Middle Eastern man to interact with the Maitlands and the Deetzes. Lydia was a minor character, with her six year old sister Cathy being the Deetz child able to see the Maitlands. Beetlejuice's goal was to kill the Deetzs, rather than frighten them away, and included sequences where he mauled Cathy in the form of a rabid squirrel and tried to rape Lydia. Subsequent script rewrites turned the film into a comedy and toned down Beetlejuice's character into the ghost of a wise cracking con-artist rather than a demon. (IMDb)
So, although the PG rated film does already contain some content that would almost certainly be deemed as PG-13 nowadays, it's actually super tame compared to the original script.
Why Burton finally decided to go with a more family-friendly version of the script is beyond me however, as I think this more R-rated script actually sounds pretty amazing. Beetlejuice as a winged, reptilian demon? How awesome would that be!?