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29 May 2024 4:37
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  •   Home > News > Entertainment

    The original 'Blair Witch Project' cast are furiously demanding more cash from the ongoing horror franchise

    Joshua Leonard, 48, one of the three actors who starred in the 1999 found-footage horror phenomenon - which made almost $250 million at the global box office on a budget of around $200,000 to $750,000 - hit out over their lack of residual payments for the movie in an open letter signed by himself and his former 'BWP' co-stars Rei Hance (also known as Heather Donahue) and Michael Williams to Facebook on 21 April.

    The trio used the message to urge movie studio Lionsgate - which now owns the 'BWP' franchise - to pay them "retroactive and future residual payments" for their work on the original movie after it emerged another reboot of the groundbreaking film was in the works.

    They state in their letter the payments they want to receive should be "equivalent to the sum that would've been allotted" through actors' union SAG-AFTRA - had they had "proper union or legal representation when the film was made".

    The trio also said they would like to retain "meaningful consultation" on "any" future project in the 'BWP' series and a yearly $60,000 grant for Lionsgate to pay aspiring filmmakers to make their first feature-length movie.

    Their letter said: "Our film has now been rebooted twice, both times were a disappointment from a fan/box office/critical perspective.

    "Neither of these films were made with significant creative input from the original team.

    "As the insiders who created the Blair Witch and have been listening to what fans love and want for 25 years, we're your single greatest, yet thus-far unutilized secret-weapon!"

    The open letter comes after Lionsgate and the Blumhouse studio jointly announced development of a new 'Blair Witch' movie on 10 April at CinemaCon 2024.

    Lionsgate Motion Picture Group chair Adam Fogelson said at the event they were planning to "reintroduce this horror classic" to a "new generation".

    Eduardo Sanchez, Dan Myrick, Gregg Hale, Robin Cowie and Michael Monello - who each worked on the original 'Blair Witch' film as directors or producers - also shared a statement on actor Joshua's Facebook page on Sunday (21.04.24) urging Lionsgate to "highlight the significant contributions" of the original cast.

    The message said: "As the literal faces of what has become a franchise, their likenesses, voices and real names are inseparably tied to 'The Blair Witch Project'.

    "Their unique contributions not only defined the film's authenticity but continue to resonate with audiences around the world.

    "We celebrate our film's legacy, and equally, we believe the actors deserve to be celebrated for their enduring association with the franchise."

    © 2024 Bang Showbiz, NZCity

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