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“Enough”: The three stars of ‘The Blair Witch Project’ speak out against Lionsgate after reboot announcement


Donogue in ‘The Blair Witch Project’

Days after Lionsgate announced it will be rebooting The Blair Witch Project, the three people who starred in the micro-budgeted film — only to see it become a blockbuster — are speaking out.

Joshua Leonard, Michael Williams and Rei Hance née Heather Donoghue played, respectively, Josh, Mike and Heather in the 1999 “found footage” horror film. Because they were not SAG-AFTRA members when the film was shot, they say they’ve never received residuals from the movie, which went on to make nearly $250 million worldwide.

To that end, they’ve issued a joint statement to Lionsgate, the studio that now owns the franchise rights, to implore them to do what’s right.

The trio is asking for “[r]etroactive + future residual payments … equivalent to the sum that would’ve been allotted through SAG-AFTRA, had we had proper union or legal representation when the film was made.”

They’re also asking to be allowed to provide “meaningful consultation on any future Blair Witch [project or product]” … provided their “names and/or likenesses will be associated for promotional purposes.”

Indeed, photos of Leonard and Donoghue appeared in press coverage about the new project; toys bearing their legal names have been sold over the years.

Blair Witch Project directors Daniel Myrick and Eduardo Sanchez released their own statement, co-signed by the original film’s producers, backing up the trio.

“While we … respect Lionsgate’s right to monetize the intellectual property as it sees fit, we must highlight the significant contributions of the original cast.” They called the actors “the literal faces of what has become a franchise.”

Hance said “a 1.5 page contract for $1k signed without an attorney or agent when I was 23” effectively meant “a lifetime of theft of my fundamental belongings—my name, image, and voice.”

She added, “It’s been 25 years. Enough.”


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