The writers behind The Blair Witch Project and the Final Destination franchise will collaborate a new project, called The Unearthly. While details are slim, the film will reportedly be a satirical horror.
In film culture, and certainly within pop culture, The Blair Witch Project is primarily known as the pseudo-documentary that initially terrified viewers with its found-footage premise. Written and directed by Daniel Myrick and Eduardo Sánchez (and produced for $60,000), the indie classic earned nearly $250 million at the box office and essentially inspired a new sub-genre, along with two sequels: Joe Berlinger’s Book of Shadows: Blair Witch 2 (2000) and Adam Wingard’s Blair Witch (2016). Meanwhile, the Final Destination five-film franchise has been wildly successful over the years, beginning with James Wong’s 2000 original. While the supernatural horror movies haven’t necessarily been well-received by critics, the series continuously produced big profits for New Line Cinema and Warner Bros. Pictures.
Per Centerboro Productions, The Blair Witch Project’s co-writer and co-director, Myrick, is set to collaborate with Jeffrey Reddick, the creator of the Final Destination film franchise. Their project has officially been named The Unearthly, and the satirical horror “will deliver on taking the audience through a dark and mysterious journey.” While that premise is purely cryptic, fans of both The Blair Witch Project and the Final Destination series can be assured that the project is moving forward, with production set to begin next spring in Atlanta, Georgia. Both Myrick and Reddick will serve as executive producers for The Unearthly.
In 2011, Warner Bros. released Final Destination 5, a film that outperformed its $40 million budget four times over and received positive reviews from critics. Starring Nicholas D’Agosto, Emma Bell, and Miles Fisher, the Steven Quake-directed film was written by Eric Heisserer – the screenwriter for Susanne Bier’s upcoming Netflix film Bird Box. In between those two projects, Heisserer also wrote The Thing (2011), The Hours (2013), Lights Out (2016), and 2016’s Arrival (for which he earned an Oscar nomination for Best Adapted Screenplay). While many horror filmmakers are more than qualified to write The Unearthly’s screenplay – including women, as Jason Blum recently admitted – Heisserer does seem like a viable option, at least after he’s completed work on the Vin Diesel superhero film Bloodshot – which will officially introduce the Valiant Cinematic Universe (VCU). Then again, both Myrick and Reddick may decide to collaborate on a script together.
While Final Destination 5 fared well amongst critics and moviegoers, it has been seven years since its release. Furthermore, 2016’s Blair Witch wasn’t exactly a resounding success. So, for The Unearthly, it might be worthwhile to enlist a screenwriter that’s currently on a hot streak.