A New ‘Blair Witch’ Movie Is In the Works

The Blair Witch lives again, in a new movie being developed by Lionsgate and Blumhouse.

This will be the third official entry in the franchise, which began with a groundbreaking 1999 indie horror film directed by Daniel Myrick and Eduardo Sanchez. The film was made to look like a legitimate documentary that had been lost and recovered. The Blair Witch Project’s incredible financial success — it remains one of the most profitable films in history — helped launched a whole wave of “found footage” horror movies.

The second film in the franchise, 2000’s Book of Shadows: Blair Witch 2, was not a found footage movie for most of its runtime, and it was not a hit at the box office. (It has since developed a devoted cult following of its own.) The last time someone attempted to revive the franchise, no one even knew the movie was happening until it was in theaters. What was ultimately called Blair Witch was initially announced as a totally separate horror film called The Woods, from future Godzilla x Kong director Adam Wingard. It was only at the film’s first screenings that people learned the truth: Wingard had secretly made another Blair Witch sequel. (One of its characters was supposedly the brother of Heather, the main character of the original film.)

Artisan Entertainment
Artisan Entertainment

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Blair Witch did better than Book of Shadows, but it got fairly negative reviews and only earned about a fifth of what the first Blair Witch Project grossed in theaters.

There’s no details yet about exactly what form this new Blair Witch will take, or how (or if) it will be directly tied to any of the previous movies. The first trilogy all involves the legend of a witch who supposedly hounded the residents of Burkittsville, Maryland hundreds of years ago. What really sold The Blair Witch Project, more than the premise, was its ingenious marketing campaign, which presented the film as authentic and which convinced many potential customers of its legitimacy.

A big part of the trickery was the airing on Sci-Fi Channel of another fake documentary called Curse of the Blair Witch, which also presented TBWP as authentic and added to the mythology surrounding the film. The Blair Witch Project was also one of the first movies to make clever use of the internet and its own official site, which contained more “evidence” of the film’s characters supposed disappearance.

Which makes you wonder: In our world of increasingly permeable online truth, what does a new Blair Witch look like? We’ll find out soon…

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Gallery Credit: Emma Stefansky