It appears that The Blair Witch Project will continue on as a TV series. Released in 1999, The Blair Witch Project effectively kicked off the found-footage movie genre with a movie that examined the discovery of footage purportedly shot by three film students combing the woods of Maryland to make a documentary about the local Blair Witch legend. Being sold as “real” footage to the moviegoing public, the movie caused a ticket-buying frenzy at the box office, and the film – made for a mere pittance of $60,000 – went to gross $140.5 million domestically and $108.1 internationally for a monolithic global cume of $248.6 million.
Not surprisingly, The Blair Witch Project – co-directed and co-written by Daniel Myrick and Eduardo Sanchez – went on to spawn a far-less lucrative sequel Book of Shadows: Blair Witch 2 in 2000, but the magic quickly wore off as the film only made only $47.7 globally against a $15 million budget. The franchise tried to make a comeback in 2016 with Blair Witch, but even the resurgence of the film series – which picked up 16 years after the events of the original with the brother of Heather Donahue‘s character searching for his sister in the Maryland woods – failed to grab audiences the way the 1999 film did. Made for $5 million by You’re Next director Adam Wingard, Blair Witch was still a financial success, pulling in $45.1 million worldwide.
Related: Blair Witch & the Evolution of the Found-Footage Genre
Convinced there is still some gas left in the Blair Witch tank, Sanchez appears intent on reviving the franchise, but this time with a television version. Speaking on the film-oriented podcast Diminishing Returns (via Bloody Disgusting), Sanchez revealed that a Blair Witch TV series was in development. He says:
“For us, it’s a very natural thing to go and say, ‘Hey, let’s do a frickin’ Blair Witch show’ You can say it’s from the original creators and we can bring in a whole bunch of interesting directors to direct episodes.”
Sanchez couldn’t reveal too many details about the show for Diminishing Returns, as far as the time frame it would take place in, whether it would be set before the events of the original Blair Witch film, be framed as an anthology series, or even if the found-footage concept would continue:
“I think that the idea of a Blair Witch anthology has always been very – just a really interesting thing. You’re close. You’re in the ballpark. You know, and I think it might be one of those things that might be – you know – the more you think about it, you’re like, ‘That might be the perfect… a TV show.’ You know? So, we’ll see what happens, but I think that’s the next big thing for Blair Witch. Probably TV.”
Only time will tell what direction the Blair Witch TV series takes – and when it does, interestingly enough, Sanchez may not be calling all of the shots. He revealed to Diminishing Returns that he no longer owns the rights to The Blair Witch Project, and instead, it’s the property of Lionsgate, which released Blair Witch in 2016. Whether people buy into the concept in the coming years, when the series eventually comes out, is yet to be seen. Still, fans of the original Blair Witch Project should be happy to know that one of the creatives who pulled off what is arguably one of the biggest box office shockers in the past 17 years, is heavily engaged and ready to scare fans once again.
Source: Diminishing Returns (via Bloody Disgusting)