'The Blair Witch Project' Reboot Movie Announced

The first 'Blair Witch' film was released in 1999.

It's been 25 years since The Blair Witch Project first terrified unsuspecting moviegoers, and now the franchise is set to return. On Wednesday, Lionsgate film chair Adam Fogelson and Blumhouse Jason Blum announced the news, revealing that a new Blair Witch film is in development, per THR.

"I have been incredibly fortunate to work with Jason many times over the years. We forged a strong relationship on The Purge when I was at Universal, and we launched STX with his film The Gift. There is no one better at this genre than the team at Blumhouse," said Fogelson. "We are thrilled to kick this partnership off with a new vision for Blair Witch that will reintroduce this horror classic for a new generation."

Blum then chimed in, praising the original 1999 film for its role in helping pave the way for found-footage horror to go mainstream, which benefited his own franchise, Paranormal Activity. "I don't think there would have been a Paranormal Activity had there not first been a Blair Witch," Blum said, "so this feels like a truly special opportunity and I'm excited to see where it leads."

The Blair Witch Project premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in January 1999 and then debuted in theaters seven months later, in July. The film positioned itself as an actual found-footage documentary about three young filmmakers who went missing while searching for the mythical Blair Witch in the woods of Burkittsville, Maryland.

However, the three students were actors Heather Donahue, Michael Williams, and Joshua Leonard, who were simply playing fictional versions of themselves in the film, which was written, directed, and edited by Daniel Myrick and Eduardo Sánchez. To this day, the film has one of the most impressive box office hauls ever, earning $248.6 million on a budget of between $200,000-750,000.

By now, everyone knows that The Blair Witch Project was all staged but, initially, many moviegoers believed the "found footage" horror film to be 100 percent real. One way the filmmakers made it seem more real was to deprive and terrorize their actors. According to reports, the directors sent the actors off into the woods to just get lost and then would sneak into the campsite and take their food, as well as shake their tents while they tried to sleep and make mysterious noises.

Following the massive success of The Blair Witch Project, a sequel was quickly fast-tracked — Book of Shadows: Blair Witch 2 — which opened in theaters in 2000, just a year after the first film. The franchise spawned a number of other media tie-ins over the years, such as comic books and video games, before a third film, Blair Witch, was released in 2016.

At this time, there is no word on when the new Blair Witch movies will begin production.