Blair Witch Project stars respond to remake announcement

The Blair Witch Project, Heather Donahue
Blair Witch Project stars respond to remakeArtisan Pics/Kobal/Shutterstock

The original cast of The Blair Witch Project has responded to the news that the 1999 cult horror movie will be getting a remake.

Earlier this month Blumhouse and Lionsgate Pictures announced they would be rebooting the The Blair Witch Project (via Variety).

However, the film's original stars Heather Donahue, Joshua Leonard and Michael Williams have since spoken out about the project over the weekend, releasing a public statement requesting residual payments for their film and "meaningful consultation" on any future Blair Witch films.

Blair Witch website
William Thomas Cain - Getty Images

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The actors sued Artisan Entertainment, who released the original movie, in 2000 for using their likeness without their permission. Artisan Entertainment was acquired by Lionsgate in 2003.

In a social media post shared by Leonard on behalf of himself, Donahue and Williams, the actors' laid out their three requests for Lionsgate moving forward.

Requests include "retroactive and future residual payments" for their work in the Blair Witch Project, equivalent to the amount they would've received through SAG-AFTRA, "had we had proper union or legal representation when the film was made."

The trio also asked for consultation on any future "Blair Witch reboot, sequel, prequel, toy, game, ride, escape room, etc," assuming their "names and/or likeness" would be used in promotions for the projects.

A third request asked for a "60k grant" to be paid out annually by Lionsgate "to an unknown/aspiring genre filmmaker" to assist in creating their first feature film.

heather donahue in the blair witch project
Artisan Entertainment - Getty Images

The film's directors and producers have also released a separate statement in support of the actors, saying: "While we, the original filmmakers, respect Lionsgate's right to monetise the intellectual property as it sees fit, we must highlight the significant contributions of the original cast.

"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."

Both statements can be read in full on Leonard's Facebook page.

The Blair Witch Project, Joshua Leonard
Getty Images/Hulton Archive

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Digital Spy has approached Lionsgate UK for comment.

Blumhouse co-owner Jason Blum announced the news of Blair Witch remake during CinemaCon, with the pioneering found-footage movie set to be the first of many classic horror films being reimagined by Blumhouse and Lionsgate "for a new generation."

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