Another Blair Witch horror movie is reportedly coming from Lionsgate. It sounds as though the project is very much in the early stages as according to The Ankler, Lionsgate are looking for writers to pitch a “fresh take” on the franchise. And apparently, they aren’t even tied to keeping the franchise in the found-footage sub-genre, something that the original 1999 film played a massive part in launching.
The Blair Witch franchise has never again reached the heights of its original incarnation, which was something truly fresh and original and was marketed in a way that could only have worked at that precise point in time. Despite being directed by Adam Wingard (You’re Next, The Guest, Godzilla vs Kong), 2016’s Blair Witch has a “rotten” rating on review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, and made only $45 million at the box office.
1999’s Blair Witch Project made nearly $250 million on a tiny budget, after word-of-mouth spread and rumours of it being real found footage were taken seriously. This is something that doesn’t work now that we’re all very familiar with the sub-genre, and in today’s internet age.
It sounds as though Lionsgate are wanting to make a new Blair Witch film to tie-in with the 25th anniversary of the original film, which will be in 2024. That’s still quite a tall order, given that they’re still at the pitching stage.
Some horror fans have taken to Twitter to suggest that Jed Shepherd, Rob Savage, and Gemma Hurley – the writers behind recent found-footage horror films Host and Dashcam – should pitch Lionsgate with an idea of where to take the Blair Witch franchise. Host used Zoom in an innovative way during the lock-downs of 2020 to produce an exciting twist on what has now become something of a stale formula.
While we wait to find out if the Blair Witch truly is coming back, check out our guide to the best horror movies.