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Based mostly on the box office strength of the original film's surprisingly popular1999 debut, the Blair Witch Project series is one of horror's most successful franchises, encompassing three films, several psuedo-documentaries, video games, novels, comic books and more. Now, there's a decent enough chance that fans could one day be watching a Blair Witch TV series, presumably while mysteriously standing in a corner of the room. Here's how co-creator Eduardo Sanchez put it:
For us, it's a very natural kind of thing to say, 'Hey, let's do a frickin' Blair Witch show.' And you can say it's from the original creators and we can bring in a bunch of interesting directors to direct episodes. . . . I can't really discuss it. The idea of a Blair Witch anthology has always been a really interesting thing. I think it's kinda one of those things that might be, the more you think about it, kinda the perfect TV show. So, you know, we'll see what happens. But I think the next big thing for Blair Witch will probably be TV.
I, for one, would get instantly excited for a Blair Witch TV show to get formally announced, as this is a franchise that seems ripe for expansion using means that aren't hampered by a single 90-minute runtime. The anthology format, which Eduardo Sanchez talked about in his appearance on the podcast Diminishing Returns, would be perfect, especially if a variety of talented writers and directors were brought in to make their own marks within this relatively simple narrative foundation. We've seen two very similar stories about people getting lost in the woods, with Adam Wingard's Blair Witch adding too few original flourishes to the original's set-up, while Book of Shadows: Blair Witch 2 felt something like The Real World: Burkittsville, as crafted with an endless number of inscrutably WTF moments. It wouldn't take much for a TV show to put together a variety of much different stories that are still tethered to the Blair Witch's mythology.
A non-serialized TV show could offer an extended take on the Rustin Parr murders, or the Coffin Rock story, and so on, since there wouldn't be a specific need to focus on the present day. Similarly, there's bound to be someone out there who already has an amazing idea for a Blair Witch story that takes place 100 years in the future. (I assume it's Black Mirror creator Charlie Brooker.) Plus, there are lots of other ways to spin more modern tales out of a span of woods that basically makes people go insane.
But I suppose we shouldn't get too ahead of ourselves. It appears that co-director Daniel Myrick responded to the news on Facebook and claims that TV talks were "News to me," so it sounds like Eduardo Sanchez was speaking more hypothetically than it seemed. Either that, or he's been talking to studios without Myrick, which seems less likely. Sanchez had been working with Starz last year on a new (and no-longer-happening) TV series called Santeria, which gets touched upon in the podcast, so perhaps that relationship is one that could lead to more Blair Witch-ness once Myrick does get involved.
For as successful as The Blair Witch Project was, that film and its two sequels are also among the most polarizing horror movies out there. Some blame Eduardo Sanchez and Daniel Myrick for ushering in the found-footage revolution, while others consider the first film the crown jewel of the faux-reality subgenre. Meanwhile, the first sequel is one of the most harshly panned horror sequels of the modern era (though it's one that I wholeheartedly love and enjoy for its batshit-craziness). It'd be interesting to see the reactions that a TV show would inspire among both fans and haters.
For now, we've only got all the other Blair Witch media to keep us busy through the Halloween season, but hopefully soon we'll hear more about a TV update. In the meantime, hit up our fall TV premiere schedule to see everything that's coming to primetime in the near future.