“Blair Witch” Actor Slams '25 Years of Disrespect' as New Reboot Is Announced: 'Feels Both Icky and Classless'

Joshua Leonard, star of 1999's 'The Blair Witch Project,' is speaking out about his compensation for the hit original film and more

<p>Moviestore/Shutterstock</p> Joshua Leonard in The Blair Witch Project


Joshua Leonard in The Blair Witch Project

A cast member from the original Blair Witch Project film is speaking out about a newly announced reboot of the franchise 25 years later.

On April 10 at CinemaCon 2024, Lionsgate and Blumhouse announced a new Blair Witch movie is in development, as Adam Fogelson, chair of Lionsgate Motion Picture Group, said in a statement that the "new vision" will "reintroduce this horror classic for a new generation."

The 1999 original turned out to be a box office hit on a minuscule budget, and it was followed up with a less-well-received sequel, Book of Shadows: Blair Witch 2, in 2000, plus a reboot in 2016.

Joshua Leonard, who starred in the original found-footage horror movie alongside Heather Donahue and Michael C. Williams, shared a post on social media April 11 expressing "frustration" over the reboot and saying he didn't know about the new project until after it made headlines last week.

Leonard also alleged that he and his fellow cast and crew weren't accurately compensated after the success of the 1999 movie. (He says they made $300,000 "and NEVER saw another dime.")

A spokesperson for Lionsgate did not immediately respond to PEOPLE's request for comment.

Related: Scary Movie Franchise Resurrected with Newly Announced Sequel: What We Know So Far

<p>Getty</p> Heather Donahue in 'The Blair Witch Project' (1999)


Heather Donahue in 'The Blair Witch Project' (1999)

"There were many factors that made BWP a success: timing, marketing, etc. But there was also the FACT that us weirdos got together, with virtually no resources, AND MADE A FILM THAT WORKED!" wrote Leonard. "Can we just go on record and say that the film itself is a huge part of why we’re still talking about it 25 years later?"

"I’m so proud of our little punk-rock movie, and I LOVE the fans who keep the flames burning. But at this point, it’s 25 years of disrespect from the folks who’ve pocketed the lion’s share (pun intended) of the profits from OUR work, and that feels both icky and classless."

Leonard, who says he's since been in touch with Lionsgate over the matter, noted in another post on April 12 that "I don’t know if we have a legal leg to stand on" but that "money isn’t the point."

"We signed contracts when we were kids, with no legal or union support. We were struggling artists, and the fact that we didn’t have to worry about food/rent for a while was as big a win as any of us could’ve dreamed of," he wrote. "I will never not be grateful to BWP for all the amazing stuff that came out of it."

He argued, though, that the issue "isn’t legal — it’s about human decency."

"The age-old saga of not giving proper credit/ respect to the people who make stuff in this world - the craftspeople off who’s backs corporations make their profits," wrote Leonard, who added that he is "99% retired from the 'industry' and no longer fearful of who might blacklist me."

<p>Artisan Entertainment/Getty</p> Joshua Leonard in The Blair Witch Project

Artisan Entertainment/Getty

Joshua Leonard in The Blair Witch Project

Never miss a story — sign up for PEOPLE's free daily newsletter to stay up-to-date on the best of what PEOPLE has to offer, from juicy celebrity news to compelling human interest stories. 

The new Blair Witch film will be produced by Roy Lee and Jason Blum, the latter of whom is behind the lucrative Paranormal Activity franchise.

"I’m a huge admirer of The Blair Witch Project, which brought the idea of found-footage horror to mainstream audiences and became a true cultural phenomenon," Blum said in a statement last week.

"I don’t think there would have been a Paranormal Activity had there not first been a Blair Witch, so this feels like a truly special opportunity and I’m excited to see where it leads," he said.

For more People news, make sure to sign up for our newsletter!

Read the original article on People.