Any film that would follow 1999's The Blair Witch Project and its massive impact on all corners of pop culture would have its work cut out for it, with filmmaker Joe Berlinger facing even more challenges when Book of Shadows: Blair Witch 2 earned a huge overhaul imposed upon it by the studio, to the degree that he considered removing his name from the picture entirely. With Berlinger being so vocal over the years about how disappointed he was in the theatrical release, fans have wondered if we could ever get a director's cut that aligned with his original intentions, though both studio Lionsgate and Berlinger himself sound uninterested in pursuing such an endeavor.
"Well, I can't do it. I don't own the footage or the negative. I have asked Lionsgate. I have asked them several times," Berlinger shared with ComicBook.com. "In fact, I forget, the last time there was an anniversary was the 10-year anniversary. The issue came up again. I asked them would they consider doing a director's cut, because it took about 10 years for people ... for the most part, I've put the thing out of my mind. But around the 10-year anniversary, that's when I first became aware that there are some fans of the movie. Every now and then, I get an email like, 'Gee, we'd love to do a director's cut or whatever.' Or something. I run into somebody or whatever."
He continued, "I've tried several times to ask Lionsgate would they ever put out a director's cut. They're just not interested. It's certainly not something I can do."
In the decades since the film hit theaters, Berlinger has been vocal about how the studio not only demanded that gratuitous shots of brutal violence be injected arbitrarily into the film, but also that the scene he intended to be a shocking conclusion be broken up and interspersed throughout the film, robbing the film of its suspense. At the time the film was released, DVD was beginning to dominate the home video market, with the landscape of home video being far different now and offering studios a number of avenues to deliver audiences content.
Even if the studio was even somewhat interested in releasing a director's cut, Berlinger himself isn't particularly interested, as his long career as a true-crime documentarian means a narrative horror film was merely a unique project instead of one pursued out of passion.
"It's not something I could do or I'm even interested in," Berlinger detailed. "Again, to me, this is just an outlier in my career that I pushed off because of the pain. But I learned a lot of great lessons. I don't regret making this. I don't regret any experience in my life. I can't believe I spent, how many years now? Almost 30 years making films for a living and raising a family by making films. How lucky am I?"0comments
Stay tuned for details on the future of the Blair Witch franchise.
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