Winona Ryder returning to her role of Lydia Deetz in Beetlejuice 2 will break a record held by Stranger Things’ Joyce Byers for 7 years.
Winona Ryder reprising her role of Lydia Deetz in Beetlejuice 2 breaks a record for her career previously set by Stranger Things. Tim Burton’s upcoming Beetlejuice 2 movie will see Winona Ryder return to the character of Lydia Deetz, her teenage breakout role in the original 1988 cult classic horror-comedy. Beetlejuice 2 is arriving at the perfect time, as its September 2024 release date is expected to coincide with the arrival of the series-ending Stranger Things season 5, which revived Ryder’s mainstream popularity by starring as Joyce Byers throughout the entirety of the Netflix show.
Within the horror realm, 1988’s Beetlejuice and 2016’s Stranger Things are two of Winona Ryder’s most popular projects, which makes the adjacent releases of Stranger Things season 5 and Beetlejuice 2 so much more exciting. In fact, it was Ryder’s role as Lydia in Beetlejuice that greatly contributed to the nostalgia of her original casting in the ‘80s-set Stranger Things series. As Winona Ryder’s five-season stint on Stranger Things comes to an end, Beetlejuice 2 arriving 36 years after the original movie also breaks a record set by the TV show that will prove difficult to beat again.
Beetlejuice 2 Passes Stranger Things As Winona Ryder’s Longest Role
With 36 years between Beetlejuice and Beetlejuice 2, Lydia Deetz now holds the record for the character that Winona Ryder has played the longest in her career. This record was previously held by Stranger Things’ Joyce Byers, which was the first role that Ryder had portrayed for longer than one movie or one season of a series. Therefore, this record was immediately set when Ryder returned as Joyce Byers in Stranger Things season 2. The record was extended as Ryder returned for Stranger Things seasons 3 and 4, though the series-ending finale of Stranger Things season 5 will conclude this streak. By the end of Stranger Things, Winona Ryder will have played Joyce for at least eight years.
However, Ryder playing Lydia Deetz again after 36 years means that her Beetlejuice role will beat Stranger Things’ record by around 24 years. Though Stranger Things’ Joyce Byers remains the role that Ryder has played the longest consecutively, returning to Beetlejuice now gives the actress a role that has spanned almost the entirety of her career. Additionally, if Tim Burton’s Beetlejuice 2 proves to be the success that it’s expected to be, another sequel could be in the cards, thus extending Lydia Deetz’s lead as Winona Ryder’s longest role.
Beetlejuice 2 Is Winona Ryder’s First Sequel In Her 37-Year Career
The reason why Stranger Things’ Joyce Byers was so quick to become Winona Ryder’s longest role back in 2017 was that she had never starred in a sequel to a movie throughout her entire career. Not only that, but Ryder had also never appeared on multiple seasons of a TV show in the same role. Surprisingly, 2024’s Beetlejuice 2 will mark the first sequel to one of her movies that Ryder has starred in since beginning her film career in 1986.
Ryder had appeared in sequels to other movies, such as Alien Resurrection, or been in a movie with a sequel that she didn’t return for, like 2009’s Star Trek, but had never played a character multiple times in a film series. Unless her 2021 Super Bowl commercial in which she played Kim Boggs opposite Timothée Chalamet’s “Edgar” Scissorhands counts, Beetlejuice 2 is the first time that Ryder is officially reprising a previous movie role. It’s possible that Winona Ryder could return to the role of Joyce Byers in a Stranger Things spinoff in the future, but it will be incredibly difficult to beat Lydia Deetz’s 36-year record after Beetlejuice 2.