‘The Blair Witch Project’ Director Wants To Release an Extended Version of the Film
The Blair Witch Project we know today is 90 minutes of building anxiety that leaves you hanging on the edge of your seat. But what about the other 17 and a half hours of footage that’s long been hidden from fans?
Co-director Eduardo Sanchez originally shot 19 hours of footage for the 1999 film, but after all these years he's ready to reveal the movie's unseen footage. Sanchez doesn’t just want to release deleted scenes and raw footage though, he wants to edit an entirely new and longer version of The Blair Witch Project. While speaking on the Found Footage Files podcast, Sanchez said he wouldn’t hesitate to edit and release an extended edition of the movie if fans showed their support for one:
In a couple of weeks I could probably take the original movie and edit a longer version. I know the fans are like ‘everybody wants to see it’… it would be cool to do, honestly. I wouldn’t hesitate to do that if Lionsgate Films hired me. I think it would a lot of fun.
The only problem is that Lionsgate owns the rights to the footage, so Sanchez encouraged fans to start a petition to get the studio’s attention. And Found Footage Critic has done just that. You can sign the petition over at the site, which at the time of publication, has 788 signatures.
According to Bloody Disgusting, before The Blair Witch Project made its debut at Sundance in 1999, there were rumors of multiple cuts floating around, including a plus-three hour version. Will we see the witch in any of these versions, or maybe more hints around her existence? With the new Blair Witch sequel coming out, we might be finding out more details about whatever happened in the 19 hours of original footage Sanchez and his co-creator Daniel Myrick shot for the movie. It will also be interest to discover whether any of that unseen footage connects to Adam Wingard’s Blair Witch sequel, especially since Sanchez is an executive producer on the new film.
If anything, the timing is perfect to release a new extended cut of The Blair Witch Project as the sequel hits theaters this month. A double feature just in time for Halloween sounds like the perfect kind of movie theater programming. But then again, isn’t the entire appeal of The Blair Witch Project the terror and mystery of the unseen? Even if the footage doesn’t reveal anything hugely revelatory, there’s something special about the 90 minutes of footage Sanchez decided to show us. And how much would the evolution of the found footage genre change Sanchez’s decisions in the editing room now with the new version? We’ll never find out unless you sign that petition, then turn the lights off and say “Blair Witch” three times in the bathroom mirror. Or something. Blair Witch opens September 16.