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The Blair Witch Project 1999
The Blair Witch Project 1999
The Blair Witch Project 1999

Movies

“Blair Witch Project” Stars Seek Retroactive Pay, Creative Input on Franchise Revival

NOTE: This article is 1 month old and may not include the most recent information.

News broke recently that Lionsgate and Blumhouse are teaming up to produce a new “Blair Witch Project” film. This announcement has spurred the original film’s stars – Heather Donahue, Michael Williams, and Joshua Leonard – to make a public plea for greater financial recognition and direct involvement in the franchise’s future.

Inadequate Compensation

The actors emphasize that the 1999 film’s improvisational nature and shoestring budget left them without traditional union representation or contracts. After the film’s massive success, they each received a $300,000 buyout rather than ongoing residual payments. They now argue that Lionsgate should provide them with residuals equivalent to what SAG-AFTRA standards would have guaranteed at the time.

The Actors Want a Voice

Beyond financial compensation, the actors want to be meaningfully consulted on any future “Blair Witch” projects that utilize their names, images, or likenesses for promotion. Their demand stems from the public’s deeply ingrained association of them with the franchise.

A Proposal for the Future

The actors are also calling for Lionsgate to create a $60,000 grant (matching the budget of the original film) designed to support aspiring genre filmmakers in creating their first feature film. This grant would serve as a gesture of goodwill and an investment in the next generation of horror creators.

Uncertain Response

It remains to be seen how Lionsgate will respond to these specific requests. This situation highlights how an independent film’s monumental success can leave actors feeling undercompensated and creatively sidelined as the brand expands. The actions taken in this case could set a precedent for how studios address similar issues as entertainment franchises continue to evolve.

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