In the fashion of a documentary pieced together from found fragments of footage, the story of The Blair Witch Project 2 is beginning to emerge. Buyers are being given plot snippets to help them commit to the chunky prices being asked by seller Summit Entertainment.
The film apparently begins with a group of three teenagers looking on the Artisan Entertainment website that so successfully launched the first film. Intrigued by what they see, the trio venture into the woods. To their horror they discover that the witch is real. In a much more graphic departure from the original production, a series of on-screen killings follows.
Although the director Joe Berlinger has a documentary background - he shot Brother's Keeper and Paradise Lost - the sequel will take on a more dramatic and narrative style than its predecessor.
Summit is now understood to be telling buyers that the picture is being made on a budget of $18m, a considerable hike from the under $10m figure previously announced. Buyers are consequently being presented with numbers vastly different from what they paid at Sundance last year for the original - Scandinavia, for instance, is being offered at $800,000 or 4.5% of budget.
One distributor, however, said: "the numbers look big, but they are not that different from BWP, where everyone ended up paying huge overages. When you do the math, it still works out, the difference this time is that the minimum guarantee is higher."