Even then Dan Curtis, who was in his 70's at the time (and has since passed away) was talking about Johnny Depp's interest in playing Barnabas Collins. Working with Dan on the pilot was quite an experience, one that would require more time to explain than I'm currently willing to invest, but suffice to say that he was a man of... great passion. And I wonder what he would have thought of Burton's clearly comic take on the material. Curtis was very possessive of the franchise (justifiably) with many definitive ideas on how a series should proceed. And I suspect none of those ideas would have involved disco music, a mirror ball gag, 70's music, and comedic moments like Baranbas tooth-brushing his fangs.
That said, I think the new movie looks pretty hilarious, a return to the Burton Beetlejuice era, so I'll be there. But I don't want to be around if there really is an afterlife and Dan C.'s there catching a matinee showing. I'm not sure the universe could take the sundering intensity of his reaction... (Or maybe he'd love it! What do I know?)