'Paranormal Activity' Success Spurs 'Blair Witch' Sequel Chatter

Big shock there, right? A decade after the release of "The Blair Witch Project," we have director Oren Peli's found-footage supernatural thriller "Paranormal Activity" setting Hollywood ablaze with an record setting box office performance in comparison to its miniscule, sub-$15,000 budget. So it's no wonder that the "Blair Witch" creators, in many ways the progenitors of this sort of phenomenon, are looking to bring it back home to their original success story.

We heard back in August from co-directors Eduardo Sanchez and Daniel Myrick that "Blair Witch 3" talk was happening, but Sanchez spoke to The Star last week a little more about how those talks are shaping up so far (via Latino Review).

"We're at the step where we're about to pitch to Lionsgate, which owns the movie rights now," Sanchez explained. "It's pretty much up to them. They can completely squash it or greenlight it."

With the sequel, the duo intend to pick up in the aftermath of the first movie. The tonally dissimilar follow-up, "Book of Shadows," which Myrick/Sanchez were notably offered and turned down in the wake of the original's success, would be ignored completely.

The pair have a new story in mind, one involving original cast members Heather Donahue, Joshua Leonard and Michael C. Williams in smaller roles. The plan is to shoot in what Sanchez describes as "mixed first person," a style which finds its comparison in last summer's "District 9."

Putting aside story concerns, which suggests that none of the three characters are in any condition to feature in a sequel, Donahue may simply opt out if offered. In a 2003 interview with Film Freak Central, she comes off as decidedly bitter about the entire "Blair Witch" experience.

All that said, Sanchez makes some comments in last week's interview which suggest that this could be nothing more than an attempt to cash in on "Paranormal"'s success. "I wouldn't be completely honest with you if I said I wasn't jealous of Paranormal Activity," he said. There's something to be said of course for ambition lighting those creative fires, but that's where Sanchez starts to dig a hole.

"I'm happy for[Peli]... but at the same time, there's the feeling that, man, I could have done this," he said. "It would have been different and might not have been as good. But I know how to make these films. To me it's like, man, maybe I should go back and kind of milk this one more time."

"Milk this"? Oy. Not exactly encouraging phrasing. Let's hope that Myrick and Sanchez come to this possible "Blair Witch" sequel with more than dollar signs on the brain. If they want to escape the impression that they are one-hit wonders -- the reasoning behind opting out of the original "Blair Witch" sequel, Sanchez admits -- then they're going to have to deliver something of quality. "Blair Witch 3" could be their shot.

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