Original ‘Blair Witch Project’ Actor Blasts Lionsgate Amid Remake Announcement: ’25 Years Of Disrespect’

Blair Witch Project
Artisan Entertainment via Getty Images

One of the stars from the 1999 horror film “The Blair Witch Project” is speaking out against Lionsgate after the studio announced a forthcoming reboot.

Actor Joshua Leonard said he felt “frustration” upon hearing the news because of how he felt the studio treated him after the original film’s release. Leonard detailed some of his complaints in a lengthy Instagram post.

“The WEIRD PART is that I didn’t know anything about it until a friend sent me a ‘congrats’ screenshot yesterday,” he wrote of the reboot announcement, which was shared at CinemaCon on April 10. “I’ve been thinking a lot about this time, after seeing my BWP collaborators recently and sharing memories… sweet AND f***ed-up ones.”

Leonard also alleged in the post that he and his co-stars were paid much less than $4 million, which is what an anonymous “Hollywood insider” said they received. “We made [$300,000]… and NEVER saw another dime,” the actor insisted.

“The Blair Witch Project” is a fictional story about three student filmmakers who hike into the Black Hills near Burkittsville, Maryland, to make a documentary about a local figure known as “The Blair Witch.” The students all disappear, but their footage is found a year later.

The movie was shot in Maryland over eight days and cost around $60,000 to make, per Entertainment Weekly.

It premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in 1999 and was purchased for $1.1 million by Artisan Entertainment, which was acquired by Lionsgate in 2003. “BWP” earned close to $250 million worldwide, making it one of the most successful independent films of all time. 


Leonard also claimed that because the actors used their real names in the movie, “the studio claimed copyright. We had to take them to federal court to win OUR NAMES back.”

He said, “There were many factors that made BWP a success: timing, marketing, etc. But there was also the FACT that us weirdos got together, with virtually no resources, AND MADE A FILM THAT WORKED! Can we just go on record and say that the film itself is a huge part of why we’re still talking about it 25 years later?”

Leonard concluded, “I’m so proud of our little punk-rock movie, and I LOVE the fans who keep the flames burning. But at this point, it’s 25 years of disrespect from the folks who’ve pocketed the lion’s share (pun intended) of the profits from OUR work, and that feels both icky and classless.”

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The Daily Wire   >  Read   >  Original ‘Blair Witch Project’ Actor Blasts Lionsgate Amid Remake Announcement: ’25 Years Of Disrespect’