“Blair Witch” Originals Unite for Fairness: Cast Demands Residuals and Creative Control

Twenty-five years after the game-changing release of “The Blair Witch Project,” the original cast members are banding together to demand fair treatment from Lionsgate, the studio that acquired the film’s rights two decades ago. Heather Donahue, Joshua Leonard, and Michael Williams are speaking out against what they claim is disrespect and unfair profiteering by the studio, and are taking a stand to fight for their rights.

In a joint statement, the trio is requesting that Lionsgate pay them residuals for their work on the original film, equivalent to what they would have received if they had been represented by SAG-AFTRA at the time. They are also demanding to be consulted on any future projects related to the movie, including reboots, spin-offs, and merchandise, to ensure that their names and likenesses are not used without their permission.

But the cast’s demands don’t stop there. They are also proposing the establishment of a grant, named after “The Blair Witch Project,” to support up-and-coming genre filmmakers in making their first feature film. This grant would provide financial assistance without requiring the filmmakers to surrender any rights to their project.

The cast’s efforts have received backing from the film’s original directors, Dan Myrick and Eduardo Sánchez, as well as producers Robin Cowie, Gregg Hole, and Michael Monello. The support from the creative team behind the film adds weight to the cast’s demands and underscores the importance of fair treatment for artists in the industry.

As Lionsgate moves forward with a reimagining of “The Blair Witch Project” in collaboration with Blumhouse, the cast’s demands are likely to spark a wider conversation about the rights of artists and the responsibilities of studios. Will Lionsgate respond to the cast’s requests and work towards a more equitable solution, or will the dispute escalate into a larger controversy? Only time will tell.

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