Mirroring the massive success of The Blair Witch Project in 1999 has proven difficult for the horror series, with two different follow-up films failing to resonate with audiences. Rather than attempt to recreate the film's success with a feature film, Lionsgate has switched gears by announcing it will be developing a TV series based on the concept for their newly created Studio L slate of digital content.
This announcement confirms comments made by original Blair Witch Project co-director Eduardo Sanchez last fall.
“For us, it’s a very natural thing to go and say, ‘Hey, let’s do a frickin’ Blair Witch show,'” Sanchez told the Diminishing Returns podcast. “You can say it’s from the original creators and we can bring in a whole bunch of interesting directors to direct episodes.”
When pressed for details about how the TV series would play out, the filmmaker stayed secretive.
“Well, you know, I can’t really discuss,” Sanchez confessed. “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.”
The original 1999 film helped establish the "found footage" concept of movies, which allowed low budget productions to utilize more readily available camera equipment to give audiences a more direct perspective of horrifying events. Additionally, The Blair Witch Project's promotional materials treated the narrative as a documentary, with the film's stars having avoided taking part in publicity until after the film was released.
The follow-up film, Book of Shadows: Blair Witch 2, abandoned the found footage filmmaking style and its complex narrative resulted in an underwhelming response from fans. In 2016, a trailer for a film titled "The Woods" debuted, which appeared to have a similar premise to the original film. When The Woods debuted at San Diego Comic-Con, it was revealed to actually be a sequel to the original film, with the promotional push reflecting the actual title, "Blair Witch."
Sadly, Blair Witch also failed to connect with audiences, seemingly being the nail in the coffin of the franchise.
It's currently unknown when the Blair Witch-inspired TV series is aiming to head into production.
Do you think the Blair Witch Project would work as a TV show or should Lionsgate call it quits? Let us know in the comments below!