Blair Witch creator Eduardo Sánchez recently sat down with The Star and talked a bit about his plans for the future of the series. For a long time Sánchez and his co-creator Daniel Myrick didn’t want to be typecast as directors of the film, even turning down the chance to direct the sequel… and we know how well that decision turned out. Things have now changed and they’re once again interested in getting back to the series.
They’d want to involve original cast members Heather Donahue, Joshua Leonard and Michael C. Williams, although in smaller roles, and have the film pick up immediately after the events of the first film, ignoring the sequel entirely. They’re going to pitch their synopsis to current rights-holder Lionsgate and see if they want to go forward with it, since fan interest is definitely there.
So what brought the change of tune? The copycats, of course. Watching Cloverfield do exactly what they (well, and The Last Broadcast… and Cannibal Holocaust) did years ago as well as seeing the incredible success of Paranormal Activity has got them feeling a bit miffed.
“I wouldn’t be completely honest with you if I said I wasn’t jealous of Paranormal Activity,” Sánchez says. “I’m happy for the guy … but at the same time, there’s the feeling that, man, I could have done this. 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.”
Dude. You did! You did do what Paranormal Activity did, and you did it mostly on your own, using the internet to market it like no film before. It’s understandable to want to cash in on this current success but as Blair Witch 2 showed sometimes it’s just a fluke, a film hitting at the right time.
Seeing the original film in theaters weeks before Artisan released it wide was one of the best movie-going experiences of my life, because there was still a bit of ambiguity over where this film really came from. Even though it seems silly that this could be the real deal now back then no one was sure what was going on, and the film just clicked even more because of that. Heading to upstate NY for a terrifying weekend in the woods immediately after seeing the film only cemented how effective it was, and still is.
Sánchez plans on changing up the style of the film a bit, away from the first person snot cam that has been abused by countless films since. He’s going to try a technique he calls “mixed first-person”, similar to what District 9 did with its documentary style segueing into complete narrative, and is trying out the style on a new film called Possessed that he’s working on.
We’ll see if this all pans out. Head over to The Star for the full interview.