It’s been ten years since “The Blair Witch Project” exploded onto movie screens and into the pop culture history books. Yet as big a phenomenon as that groundbreaking and highly influential horror film was, writer/directors Eduardo Sanchez and Daniel Myrick have failed to follow it in the past decade with something equally compelling. The pair spoke to BBC News recently about the film’s anniversary -- it opened in the UK in October 1999 -- and they mentioned plans for another sequel to their hit debut.
Could a “Blair Witch 3” bring the duo back into the limelight though? Sanchez and Myrick received executive producer credit on the very disappointing sequel “Book of Shadows: Blair Witch 2,” but they can’t be blamed for how bad that installment turned out. Perhaps they have some good ideas for what to do with a third film?
“We're thinking about going back and and seeing what happened directly after the first film finished,” Sanchez told the BBC. “I think it will have some kind of video element in it, but it won't be a first person hand-held movie."
A direct sequel would have to avoid revealing what really happened to the three protagonists of the first film, of course. Otherwise the mystery is ruined. So the original actors shouldn’t appear, which is probably good considering Heather Donahue has quit the film business. However, Joshua Leonard continues to work, having regained attention recently after his co-starring role in this summer’s indie hit “Humpday.” Maybe he can return as his original character’s twin?
I kind of prefer Sanchez and Myrick’s other plan for a third installment, which Sanchez said was part of an initial ideal concept of having each “Blair Witch” movie be completely different. Before concentrating on the direct follow-up idea, they thought about doing a story set in the 18th century and aimed for a Stanley Kubrick look.
Whatever direction they go in with their sequel plans, Sanchez and Myrick will likely have trouble convincing people that we need more “Blair Witch” after all these years. Despite the fact that the new documentary-style sci-fi film “District 9” seems to be broken from the “Blair Witch” mold, it’s also a relatively original idea. Maybe Sanchez and Myrick should attempt something fresher, whether or not it brings them renewed fame.
Then again, perhaps they should pour their creative energies into a unique, new viral marketing campaign. The unorthodox "Blair Witch" rollout is probably most responsible for the original film's success. With so many years and so many viral marketing success stories since "Witch," the real challenge will involve distinguishing a new "Witch" from the likes of "Cloverfield" and "District 9" before it.
Do you want to see another “Blair Witch” movie, or has that story run its course with a bad sequel and countless parodies? What do you think Sanchez and Myrick could do with the franchise to make it worthy of continuation?