A Blair Witch actor gives a big rant after the announcement of the reboot

A Blair Witch actor gives a big rant after the announcement of the reboot

“It’s 25 years of disrespect from those who have pocketed the lion’s share (pun intended) of the profits from our work, and it’s both unhealthy and classless,” fumes Joshua Leonard.

In 1999, The Blair Witch Project made a splash by playing on marketing and staging never seen before. Playing on the new concept of found footagethe film tells the story of the disappearance of three young people in the forest, of which only the film has been found, witnessing the horrors they experienced.

On the internet, rumors were circulating, invented by the production (Artisan Entertainment) and supporting the authenticity of the images to encourage spectators to go see the film. Thanks to that, The Blair Witch Project is still today the second highest-grossing film in history: for a budget of 60,000 dollars, the film grossed nearly 250 million.

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The idea has since been franchised, with two additional films (Blair Wittch 2: Book of Shadows in 2000 and Blair Witch in 2016), far from enjoying the same success as the original, but also books, comics, video games… But recently, Lionsgate (which bought Artisan Entertainment in 2003) announced a reboot from the 1999 film produced by Jason Blumat the origin of the series of Paranormal Activity, of that of American Nightmareand Insidious and who is partnering with the studio for this project.

The last straw for one of the actors in the initial project.

Taking up the announcement of Variety, Joshua Leonard took to his Instagram account to denounce what he sees as years of disrespect from the studio. First point of contention between the actor and Lionsgate: the announcement of reboot in herself.

“So this is MY face on a press release for a film made by two major studios – both of whom I worked for and respecthe wrote in the caption of his publication. The weird thing is, I didn’t know anything about it until a friend sent me a congratulatory screenshot yesterday.”

The actor continues, listing the injustices that he and the other two headliners of Blair Witch, Heather Donahue And Michael C. Williamssuffered after the release of the film:

“And yes, I've been thinking about that time a lot, after seeing my BWP colleagues recently and sharing memories…sweet AND messed up.

FACT: In 1999, the original distributor of BWP claimed to have released the highest grossing independent film of all time (bought for 1 million, grossed over 250 million), while internally they told us they were losing money. made money from marketing spend…and therefore we might owe them money.

FACT: Since we used our real names in the first film, the studio claimed royalties. We had to sue them in federal court to get OUR NAMES back.

FACT: A Hollywood insider told the press that we (the actors) were paid $4 million to buy out our property points, when in reality we made $300,000…and didn't NEVER received another cent. (After buying a car and paying off his student loans, Mike was back delivering furniture within 12 months of the film's release, all while continuing to grace magazine covers).”

We feel that twenty-five years later, the actor still has not digested the way things happened. Despite everything, he does not deny the film that launched his career, far from it! But he believes that the recognition is not directed to the right people: after all, the actors play a film crew; they truly make the film.

“Many factors contributed to the success of BWP: timing, marketing, etc. But there's also the FACT that we, a bunch of weirdos, got together, with virtually no resources, and made a movie that worked! Could we confirm that the film itself largely explains why we are still talking about it 25 years later?

I'm very proud of our little punk-rock film, and I LOVE the fans who keep its flame alive. But at this point, it’s 25 years of disrespect from those who pocketed the lion’s share (pun intended) of the profits from our work, and it’s both unhealthy and classless.”

Statements to which Lionsgate has not responded, specifies Entertainment Weekly.

Unfortunately for Joshua Leonard, and whatever he thinks, this new project Blair Witch will see the light of day, with the aim of “reintroducing this horror classic to a new generation”supports Adam Fogelson, representative of Lionsgate.

For the moment, the studio has not communicated either a synopsis or a release date.

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