Lionsgate and director Adam Wingard (The Guest) have just revealed one of the best-kept secrets in modern Hollywood – Wingard’s upcoming horror entry The Woods (set for release on September 16th) is actually a sequel to the breakout found-footage staple The Blair Witch Project (1999); so much so that the moniker The Woods has been a ruse this entire time: the film is actually be called Blair Witch. The secret came out as Friday night saw a screening of Blair Witch at San Diego Comic-Con, an event initially revealed as a screening for The Woods.
Entertainment Weekly was the first reveal the news, alongside with a sparkling new trailer. Blair Witch stars James Allen McCune (Showtime’s Shameless) as the younger brother of Heather Donahue’s character in the original 1999 film. He ventures out into the same mysterious woods to try and find his sister. Wingard, who also wrote the film along with Simon Barrett, has been building a reputation for quality thrillers in the past couple years thanks to the critical successes of You’re Next (2013) and The Guest (2014). The trick of Blair Witch comes in that it was sticking out under our noses for some time now – while filmed last fall in Vancouver in secret, Lionsgate has plugged The Woods along, even releasing a trailer earlier this spring.
Oh man I can finally say the words Blair Witch out loud without feeling paranoid that im leaking the secret haha! https://t.co/jAGbP9s5ao
— Adam Wingard (@AdamWingard) July 23, 2016
The original The Blair Witch Project still holds distinction for a variety of reasons. When the micro-budgeted, found-footage movie first played the Sundance Film Festival in 1999, many audience members believed the story to be real. Not only did the film usher in the genre of found-footage thrillers (the Paranormal Activitys quickly followed), but made a staggering $140 million at the box office of a production budget of $600,000 – the film is one of the most profitable of all time. A sequel – Book of Shadows: Blair Witch 2 followed quickly afterwards but failed at the box office and dropped the found-footage theme.
Excited for a return to trip. Blair Witch opens in theaters on September 16th.