After announcement of another reboot, the original Blair Witch cast are asking for the residual payments they never received

The Blair Witch Project
(Image credit: Haxan Films/Summit Entertainment)

Less than two weeks after plans to remake the horror classic The Blair Witch Project were announced, the original movie’s cast has spoken out, stating that if the remake does indeed go ahead, they want residuals. 

In an open letter to Lionsgate, the stars of The Blair Witch Project, Rei Hance (formerly known as Heather Donahue), Joshua Leonard, and Michael Williams, made three demands in the wake of the film being brought back to life. The letter was posted to Leonard’s Facebook, where the trio asked first for retroactive and future residual payments for the original movie, then "meaningful consultation" on any future Blair Witch reboots or sequels, as well as anything that uses their likeness, and lastly a $60,000 yearly grant to any first-time genre filmmaker. 

Often considered one of the best found footage horror movies ever made, the original film, directed by Daniel Myrick and Eduardo Sánchez, follows three aspiring filmmakers making a documentary on the myth of the Blair Witch, which leads them into a forest controlled by an unknown entity. The 1999 movie was a huge box office success, making $250 million against its small independent budget. But the film notably took a lot out of the actors, who improvised much of the dialogue, used their real names, and posed as missing persons to lead the audience to believe the movie was real. 

The remake was officially announced in April 2024 when it got picked up by major horror production house Blumhouse. Company head Jason Blum made the announcement at CinemaCon, stating "I’m a huge admirer of The Blair Witch Project, which brought the idea of found footage horror to mainstream audiences and became a true cultural phenomenon."

But this is not the first time the movie has seen a reboot. In 2000, Book of Shadows: Blair Witch 2 followed, and then in 2016 another sequel titled Blair Witch dropped from the original filmmakers. However, it looks like the trio does not approve of any of the following flicks, as they state in their letter: "Our film has now been rebooted twice, both times were a disappointment from a fan/box office/critical perspective. Neither of these films was made with significant creative input from the original team."

As Lionsgate is yet to respond to the letter, it is unclear at this point whether the trio will get their dues or any offer to take part in the new movie. As for the remake, an official plotline, cast list, and release date are yet to be announced. 

The Blair Witch Project and Blair Witch are both streaming now on Prime Video. For more, check out our list of the best horror movies, or keep up to date with upcoming horror movies heading your way this year.  

Editorial Associate, GamesRadar+

I am an Entertainment Writer here at GamesRadar+, covering TV and film for SFX and Total Film online. I have a Bachelors Degree in Media Production and Journalism and a Masters in Fashion Journalism from UAL. In the past I have written for local UK and US newspaper outlets such as the Portland Tribune and York Mix and worked in communications, before focusing on film and entertainment writing. I am a HUGE horror fan and in 2022 I created my very own single issue feminist horror magazine.