In 1999, the film known as The Blair Witch Project took the world by storm thanks to creative storytelling, interesting filming techniques, a low budget, and one of the earliest viral campaigns. As the story went, three filmmakers went into the forest to check out an urban legend and were never seen again, but their footage was. Now, a true sequel is coming soon, but are Heather, Josh, and Mike really still out in the woods?
The Woods is a film that some people have heard of, but they didn’t pay a whole lot of attention to it as not much was known about it. As revealed by The Verge, the film is actually a sequel in another franchise and the real name of it is Blair Witch which was screened at the San Diego Comic-Con 2016.
As is made obvious by the trailer, the film takes place many years after the events of The Blair Witch Project. One of the characters is apparently the brother of Heather Donahue, one of the trio who went out into the Black Hills Forest almost two decades ago and haven’t been heard from since.
From there, a new group heads out among the trees to find out if Heather, Mike, and Josh are still somewhere out there or to see if they can at least figure out what happened to them. This poses the interesting possibility of original cast members returning for this sequel.
If you haven’t seen the first film in the franchise, then you may want to stop reading now. There are some spoilers ahead.
In the original film, it’s not exactly known what happened to the trio who went out into the woods to film the legend of the evil that reportedly lived there. Josh disappeared without a trace during the middle of the night, but Heather later found evidence that made it seem something bad had happened to him.
After finding the home of evil, Mike and Heather enter the home but are met with pure terror and danger. Mike ends up being forced to stand in a corner and Heather is attacked from behind as the footage ends with her screaming.
It’s not ever made truly clear if any of the three had died.
Since it isn’t exactly known if the trio from the first film are dead or not, could they still be alive? Have they been out in the wilderness all this time? Will the original cast members come back to reprise their roles and show back up?
The cast listing for the new movies shows a mere six people list and not anyone else. With this sequel kept so secret in hopes of rebooting the franchise, it’s also possible that some other cast choices are being kept secret as well. At least until people can go to the theater and watch the movie on September 16.
While there is a chance that all of them could come back in some capacity, it really isn’t likely.
Joshua Leonard is still acting and has been doing so regularly since The Blair Witch Project which was his first role ever. Michael C. Williams has done a little bit of acting over the years but hasn’t appeared in anything since a short video in 2013, and it’s reported that he was becoming a guidance counselor.
Heather Donahue is the big question mark and oddly enough, she is the focus of the storyline in the new movie. As reported by Mirror, she hasn’t done any on-screen work since 2008 and even said she took anything related to her acting career out to the desert and “burned it.”
So, it isn’t likely that she will be back.
With Lionsgate simply looking to reboot the entire franchise with this film, it is said that this release is going to be a direct sequel to the 1999 hit. No-one can argue with its success which brought in $248 million at the box office on a $60,000 budget.
The first sequel came out in 2000 and it was not nearly as successful. Book of Shadows: Blair Witch 2 had a $15 million budget and made just $47 million at the worldwide box office, but it took the franchise and filmmaking in a totally different direction that simply didn’t work.
Blair Witch and its trailer were really quite shocking for everyone as no one really anticipated that The Woods was a sequel in disguise. It was cleverly done much in the same way that 10 Cloverfield Lane came out of nowhere. The plot and storyline for the sequel are known and references to Heather Donahue are made by the characters, and it’s quite possible that another surprise or two could be thrown our way once the film is released.
[Image via Artisan Entertainment]