The founder of “found footage” movie genre and one of the most influential horror films of all time – 1999’s The Blair Witch Project – is getting a sequel … and much sooner than you think.
September 16’s The Woods from Lionsgate is actually a secret sequel to the modern horror classic, as revealed Friday at Comic-Con International: San Diego.
Actually titled Blair Witch (as it will now be known), the film stars James Allen McCune (Showtime’s Shameless) as the brother of Heather Donahue’s character from the original, who according to Entertainment Weekly, “sets out to discover what happened to his long-missing sister.”
Here is the trailer:
Directed by Adam Wingard and written by Simon Barrett, the film was reportedly shot secretly in Vancouver last year but has been hiding in plain sight as The Woods. It even released a trailer in May but Lionsgate managed to keep the connection secret until this week, and noteworthy in today’s Internet environment, few seemed to pick up on the connection.
“The Woods was our working title,” director Wingard told EW. “When we signed on to it, we knew that [the name] was eventually going to be changed. To us, it wasn’t even going to be part of the marketing. But I think Lionsgate made a really smart decision, using that.”
The original film cost $60k to produce and grossed $140m in North America and $108m overseas, with its success attributed to the marketing campaign that led people to believe the found footage aspect of the film was real.
A 2000 sequel, Book of Shadows: Blair Witch 2, which abandoned the found footage format, generated only $26m at the domestic box office.