In 1999, the worlds of horror and independent film collided, forming the massive success that was The Blair Witch Project. In just an hour and a half of screen time, the story of three young filmmakers disappearing one by one in their search for a local legend scared audiences and generated one hell of a word-of-mouth campaign. Now, almost 20 years later, fans may get to see a new, extended version of the original film, if a new online petition gains enough traction.
With the resurrection of the franchise coming to theaters later this month, in the form of Adam Wingard's Blair Witch, co-creator of the original Blair Witch Project, Eduardo Sanchez had recently made an appearance on the Found Footage Critic podcast to talk about the original film. During this conversation, the fact that 19 hours of usable footage was crafted during the original Blair Witch Project production was brought up, and with the original only weighing in at 90 minutes, Sanchez expressed interest in creating a new, extended cut of the film. More specifically, he set up the following scenario:
Eduardo Sanchez doesn't have a bad idea on his hands, especially considering the Blair Witch hype will more than likely inspire its pre-existing fan base to revisit the classic origin story, with newcomers want to enjoy the film in order to head into the new entry fully informed. Though there are two options for how Lionsgate can go about bringing this reality to fruition.
With The Blair Witch Project's current Blu-ray looking rather thin, Sanchez can put together a version of The Blair Witch Project that could be released not too long after Blair Witch has started scaring audiences all over. This would be a great product to have on the market for the Halloween season as well. as anyone attending or throwing a party full of scary movies would be the winner of the night by possessing a copy of this re-cut version. Of course, if Lionsgate wants to wait a little longer, there's another option that can just as easily be execute.
While an extended Blu-ray would probably have to be rushed in order to strike while the iron is hot for Blair Witch's theatrical release, the home video window for this second film could provide the perfect timing for The Blair Witch Project to re-surface in a two-film bundle. Both films can be experienced one right after the other, with those fans converted by Adam Wingard's long-awaited sequel being able to share the special moment with long-time fans. Either way, seeing an extended version of The Blair Witch Project hit the market would be an interesting prospect that'd see a horror classic reborn.
Of course, this project can't happen if you, the fans, don't sign the official petition created by Found Footage Critic and Eduardo Sanchez. If you're interested in seeing the extended cut of The Blair Witch Project become a reality, sign the petition found here. Blair Witch, in the meantime, strikes theaters on September 16th.