The Blair Witch Project is one of the most influential horror films of all time. The film, which premiered in 1999, gave new life to the found-footage technique of filmmaking and laid the foundation for two other equally successful horror thrillers Cloverfield and Paranormal Activity. Now, 24 years on, Lionsgate is looking to breathe new life into the IP.
According to Bloody Disgusting, Lionsgate has hired Oliver Park to direct an untitled Blair Witch film. Park is a British writer and director with interests in the horror genre and his portfolio includes Still, Vicious, A Night of Horror: Nightmare Radio, and last year’s The Offering. The report further states that the entertainment company is looking to begin shooting for the project this year either in late summer or early fall.
The Blair Witch Project told the story of three college students and amateur filmmakers Heather Donahue, Joshua Leonard, and Michael C. Williams, who mysteriously disappear after they hike into the Black Hills of Burkittsville, Maryland. The film employed the found footage filming technique as it purportedly tells the story of what happened to the students through footage of the event discovered one year after their disappearance.
The Blair Witch Project is one of the most successful supernatural horror films of all time. The film grossed almost $250 million at the global box office against a budget of less than $1 million and launched a media franchise, that includes two sequels, video game adaptations, comic books, and novels.
The film’s box office success was, in large part, the result of its guerilla marketing campaign as its directors went to great lengths to give the impression that the film was based on real events. For instance, they had the three primary characters use their real names and improvise their lines and actions to achieve as much authenticity as possible. They also developed fake missing person posters, doctored police reports, and a website asking for information about the missing characters.
The untitled Blair Witch project is still in the very early production stages and, as a result, is lacking in details. There is no information available about its plot and, as far as we can tell, no cast member is attached yet. However, Daniel Myrick and Eduardo Sánchez who directed the original film and co-wrote its script will produce the new project.
By the way, given that Lionsgate hasn’t officially announced they have such a project in the works, readers should take this news with a grain of salt. However, we expect more information to surface, including an official confirmation, as production progresses.