Original Blair Witch Project cast wants residuals, consultation on future projects

Original The Blair Witch Project stars Heather Donahue, Joshua Leonard and Michael Williams have numerous requests of Lionsgate.

Blair Witch Project

While 1999’s The Blair Witch Project was a phenomenon upon release, who knew we would still be talking about it 25 years later? More directly, who knew we would be focusing so much on all of the “disrespect” that the studio has for the original cast? At least, that’s the claim that star Joshua Leonard makes, launching a campaign to bring attention to Lionsgate, who acquired Artisan two decades ago and he believes is unfairly profiting from the screams, sweat and tears of the original cast. Now, he is being joined by The Blair Witch Project co-stars Heather Donahue and Michael Williams in their efforts to receive residuals and to be consulted on any future endeavors.

In a joint statement (via Deadline), Leonard, Donahue and Williams are asking that Lionsgate fork over past and future The Blair Witch Project 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.”

Another request from The Blair Witch Project trio is that they be consulted on any endeavors related to the movie, which could include everything from another reboot to escape rooms; really, this is anything “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.”

And there’s one final request, this one less to do with themselves and more about supporting upcoming filmmakers. This grant, to be named after The Blair Witch Project is designed to be given to “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.” The cast also has active support from landmark horror movie’s directors Dan Myrick and Eduardo Sánchez, in addition to producers Robin Cowie, Gregg Hole and Michael Monello.

We anticipate seeing just how Lionsgate reacts to these words and will update our readers accordingly. In the meantime, production on the reimagining of The Blair Witch Projectcoming from Lionsgate and Blumhouse – is evidently pressing on.

What do you make of the requests from The Blair Witch Project stars? Are they reasonable? Do you think Lionsgate will give in? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.

Source: Deadline

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Mathew is an East Coast-based writer and film aficionado who has been working with JoBlo.com periodically since 2006. When he’s not writing, you can find him on Letterboxd or at a local brewery. If he had the time, he would host the most exhaustive The Wonder Years rewatch podcast in the universe.