All eyes are once again affixed to the legend of the Blair Witch, with the surprise Blair Witch Project sequel hitting theaters later this month. The 1999 original practically laid the groundwork for the future of found footage horror films to come and, you know, scared the hell out of millions of people in the process. At a lean 81 minutes, one can't help but wonder what a director-approved extended cut might look like. If The Blair Witch Project co-director Eduardo Sánchez has any say, fans may soon be rewarded with exactly that.
"In a couple of weeks I could probably take the original movie and edit a longer version," Sánchez, who alongside Daniel Myrick originally shot 19 hours of footage for the film, told the Found Footage Files podcast. "I know the fans are like 'everybody wants to see it'... it would be cool to do, honestly." The only hiccup is that Lionsgate currently has a lock on the rights to the footage. The solution? A petition! Movie studios love petitions.
At the time of publication, the petition has amassed just shy of 1,000 signatures. A few industry insiders have even stepped up to support Sánchez's vision for a longer and scarier Blair Witch Project cut, including Paranormal Activity director Oren Peli. "As a longtime fan of found-footage movies and Blair Witch Project, I would love to see an extended version released," Peli said.
Blair Witch, Adam Wingard's (You're Next) surprise sequel, has been turning up the heat on viral marketing in recent weeks. After successfully keeping the sheer existence of the movie a total secret until just two months before its release, Blair Witch has been strategically dropping dizzying gems like the 30-second clip below on YouTube:
"THIS IS WHAT THE AUTHORITIES DON'T WANT YOU TO SEE," the video's description reads. As noted by Slash Film, portions of this mysterious clip also pop up in the official Blair Witch trailer. So did Lionsgate slyly release a full scene? Is this just someone trolling us? Is the extended cut petition just another facet of the franchise's clever marketing?
Find out when Blair Witch hits theaters Sept. 16.