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Blair Witch Project Is in the Works & Ready to Haunt You

Blair Witch Project Is in the Works & Ready to Haunt You

Beware the rabid creature that is a studio with an unexpected blockbuster on its hands. Book of Shadows: Blair Witch 2 (starring future Burn Notice leading man Jeffrey Donovan) was rushed into production in time for an October 2000 release—and it made $47.7 million. It only cost a reported $15 million to make, but… 14 percent on Rotten Tomatoes, Metacritic score of 15 (the original is at 87 percent and 81).

The spell was broken, just like that. Director Joe Berlinger said that his vision for the film—about tourists who go to Burkittsville after seeing The Blair Witch Project—was compromised in postproduction. (The sequel was nominated for a host of Razzies, but it couldn’t beat Battlefield Earth.)

“That’s not to say that my director’s cut would have garnered a better reaction from critics per se, by at least I could have stood by the film for representing my vision and if people hated that version, it would have been less painful because it’s what I would have wanted to be seen,” Berlinger told Deadline in 2016.

That being said, the Paradise Lost director disputes the generalization that Blair Witch 2 was a flop. “It grossed $48 million worldwide on a $10 million budget and did over $25 million on DVD… Pure gravy on DVD,” he said. “I know because my DGA residuals on this film paid for my daughter’s college education.”

They’re credited on IMDb as executive producers and for creating the characters, but Myrick and Sánchez otherwise washed their hands of Book of Shadows. They wanted to do a prequel, which was fine with Artisan, but they also wanted to wait a beat—which wasn’t part of the studio’s plan. So, the pair willingly stepped aside.

“We gave a few notes on earlier drafts of the script, and they didn’t listen to any of them,” Myrick recalled to The Week. “So we said, ‘Okay. Well, invite us to the premiere when you’re ready.'”


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