Eduardo Sanchez and Daniel Myrick became Hollywood superstars with the release of The Blair Witch Project back in 1999, and while the intervening years have seen the duo make several more genre films (with Sanchez’s Altered being one of our favorites), the duo has spent years talking about returning to the franchise that made them famous. Sanchez, who was at the premiere of his new film Lovely Molly, updated Bloody-Disgusting on where the project currently stands – apparently, everything is up to Lionsgate.
With found footage films being all the rage these days, it’s puzzling as to why Lionsgate hasn’t trotted out one of the fathers of the form for a new installment. The original film became a pop-culture phenomenon after its release and still stands as one of the highest grossing indie films of all time.
Director Joe Berlinger helmed a sequel, entitled Book of Shadows: Blair Witch 2, which dropped the found footage motif and instead told a fictional tale about strange events happening to a group of fans of the original film. It didn’t do nearly as well in terms of earnings – and that was the last we heard of the Witch.
Sanchez and Myrick would love to return to series and get back to its roots with a new tale focusing on the town of Burkittsville, Maryland and the malevolent force that haunts the local wilderness.
Sanchez tells BD that while he actually enjoys Berlinger’s sequel, but feels that Artisan made a mistake calling Blair Witch 2. “Book of Shadows created a different world. It's like if the sequel to Jaws started with shots of people lined up to see Jaws in the movie theater. For Book of Shadows it worked in a certain way but to me my biggest gripe with Artisan was you shouldn't have called it Blair Witch 2. It would've been fine to call it Blair Witch Chronicles. It wasn't really a sequel to our movie.”
The filmmaker hasn’t divulged any real details about what a new Blair Witch film will be about, but he does say that original cast members Heather Donahue, Joshua Leonard, and Michael C. Williams will all be back – just not as stars. Hopefully this may shed some light on what, exactly, happened to the ill-fated trio of student filmmakers after the end of the original movie.
All in all, we’re up for a Blair Witch sequel from the original creative team. The mythology Myrick and Sanchez created was interesting and left lots of stories that could be told, which coupled with the ambiguous ending of the original film, certainly leaves them lots of ground to cover in a new installment. The question is, after 12 years, will audiences want to return to the woods of Maryland? We may find out the answer to that in the not too distant future.