Original The Blair Witch Project Cast Asks For Retroactive Residuals, Consultation on Future Projects

Joshua Leonard, Heather Donahue, and Michael Williams have issued a statement about the new Blair Witch.

When it comes to reviving horror franchises, Blumhouse Productions has been the first in line. Earlier this month, it was announced that a reboot of The Blair Witch Project was in the works from Blumhouse and Lionsgate. The original 1999 film made waves when many people left the theater thinking it was real. While some are excited to see a return to the woods, others aren't too happy. The original film's star, Joshua Leonard, recently blasted the new movie on social media, explaining his frustrations with Lionsgate. Yesterday, Leonard issued a statement alongside his co-stars, Heather Donahue and Michael Williams, which asked for retroactive and future residual payments from the iconic film.

Leonard, Donahue, and Williams are asking for residuals "for acting services rendered in the original BWP, 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." They also want to be consulted "on any future Blair Witch reboot, sequel, prequel, toy, game, ride, escape room, etc..., in which one could reasonably assume that Heather, Michael & Josh's names and/or likenesses will be associated for promotional purposes in the public sphere."

"Our film has now been rebooted twice, both times were a disappointment from a fan/box office/critical perspective. Neither of these films were made with significant creative input from the original team," they explained on Facebook. "As the insiders who created the Blair Witch and have been listening to what fans love & want for 25 years, we're your single greatest, yet thus- far unutilized secret -weapon!"

Their final request is for "The Blair Witch Grant" to be created with a 60k prize to match the original film's budget, which would be awarded "to an unknown/aspiring genre filmmaker to assist in making their first feature film. This is a GRANT, not a development fund, hence @lionsgate will not own any of the underlying rights to the project."

In addition to the movie's stars, the post also included a statement from the original film's directors and producers, Eduardo Sánchez, Dan Myrick, Gregg Hole, 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 – Heather Donahue, Joshua Leonard, and Mike Williams," the statement reads. "As the literal faces of what has become a franchise, their likenesses, voices, and real names are inseparably tied to The Blair Witch Project. Their unique contributions not only defined the film's authenticity but continue to resonate with audiences around the world."

Stay tuned for more updates about The Blair Witch Project reboot.