Lionsgate Studios Bringing the Blair Witch Back

Image copyright Haxan Films 1999

The Blair Witch Project was one of the most successful movies of all time, grossing nearly $250 million from a $60,000 budget back in 1999.

The movie launched the popularity of the annoying hand-held found-footage movies that littered the cinemas in the early 2000s and was one of the earliest examples of an online marketing campaign being used to further interest in the franchise.

The movie spawned a comparatively unsuccessful sequel in 2000 – Book of Shadows: The Blair Witch 2 – as well as a ‘direct’ sequel in 2016 simply titled Blair Witch, both of which failed to capture the lightning-in-a-bottle that was the first movie.

The idea may seem dead in the water to the average cinema-goer in 2018, however, Hollywood knows how to squeeze every drop out of a franchise, and, as Deadline reports, Lionsgate’s newly launched Studio L banner is currently developing a television series based on the Blair Witch franchise.

The report tells that the Blair Witch project is one of several in development from Studio L, which is focusing all of its resources primarily on creating digital content that will appeal to a younger demographic. There is little information currently available about the project, but Studio L reportedly has three film projects already scheduled for a spring-time release so there won’t be too long to wait before more details are available.

The original movie told the fictional story of three student filmmakers who disappeared in 1994 in rural Maryland whilst making a documentary about the local legend known as the Blair Witch. As the film tells, only the filmmakers equipment was found, including the footage they shot, and, ultimately, it is pieced back together to make the film. The sequel followed a group of teens who wanted to see the legitimacy of the original footage, only to get swept up in the curse of the Blair Witch themselves.

-James, 26/02/2018

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