The Blair Witch Project was an absolute phenomenon. It kickstarted the found footage genre, and with a tiny budget, its $250 million box office take makes it one of the most profitable movies of all time. The studio that owns it, Lionsgate, has recently announced a partnership with Blumhouse that will include a reboot of the franchise.

Now, according to a report on Vulture, the three original actors from the first installment took to social media to get in on the action. Heather Donahue, Joshua Leonard, and Michael Williams released a statement that asked Lionsgate for money.


They have requested retroactive and future residual payments, some “meaningful consultation” on future Blair Witch projects, and an annual $60,000 grant to currently unknown and aspiring genre filmmakers to help them make their first feature.

The actors were not in SAG-AFTRA at the time of filming The Blair Witch Project, so are not protected or provided for by the terms of that union. Part of their request is for compensation:

“…equivalent to the sum that would’ve been allotted through SAG-AFTRA, had we had proper union or legal representation when the film was made.”

A collective statement of support was given by the original directors and producers Eduardo Sanchez, Dan Myrick, Gregg Hale, Robin Cowie, and Michael Monello:

“While we, the original filmmakers, respect Lionsgate’s right to monetize the intellectual property as it sees fit, we must highlight the significant contributions of the original cast. As the literal faces of what has become a franchise, their likenesses, voices, and real names are inseparably tied to The Blair Witch Project.”

Lionsgate obtained the rights when they purchased Artisan Entertainment in 1999.

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