‘The Blair Witch Project’ was one of the highest-grossing horror movies of all time and one of the most innovative, with it being spliced together from “found footage” lensed by three student filmmakers– Heather Donahue, Josh Leonard and Michael “Mikey” Williams– who attempted to debunk a local legend in the creepy rural hamlet of Burkittsville, Maryland. In one of the earliest uses of viral marketing, the real filmmakers Daniel Myrick and Eduardo Sánchez created a mysterious website that sold the story as truth, spurring curious film fans to check it out to see if indeed this was an actual event– and some left theaters still believing it was.
Unfortunately, ‘The Blair Witch Project’ was lighting-in-a-bottle. A quickie sequel ‘Book of Shadows: Blair Witch 2’ was released the following year, but by then the general public was aware that the first film was a fabrication, so the curiosity had subsided a great deal. It didn’t help that ‘Book of Shadows’ was a traditional film, eschewing the found footage technique that had made the first film unique. (Although many original audience members complained that the jerky footage made them nauseous.) Additional short films (aired on the SciFi Channel) were meant to embellish the legend of the first movie, but the craze had died down very quickly. In 2016, a reboot was attempted, simply entitled ‘Blair Witch’, but it also failed to draw a following.
Now it seems that Sánchez is at work in hopes of bringing ‘Blair Witch’ back as a TV series. The project is still in its earliest stages, but he did offer a bit of insight into it.
“For us, it’s a very natural thing to go and say “Hey, let’s do a frickin’ Blair Witch show and you can say it’s from the original creators and we can bring in a whole bunch of interesting directors to direct episodes”.
When asked about the format– prequel, documentary-style, found footage– Sánchez was quick to point out that this was still a project in development, saying only:
“Well, you know. I can’t really discuss. 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.”
It sounds as though, if this project ever sees the light of day, that it will be in a few years. The anthology concept, helmed by different directors, makes it sound as though this will fall more in line with something like ‘Black Mirror’ than ‘American Horror Story’, so it’s unlikely that it would be strictly found footage storytelling.
More information as it surfaces. Are you a fan of the first ‘Blair Witch Project’? Or even the sequels? Do you think there is more to discover via a TV series?