No matter how many times it’s been resurrected, Sam Raimi’s Evil Dead franchise remains beloved. Since the first movie hit theaters in 1981 we’ve gotten the original trilogy, Fede Alvarez’s 2013 movie remake, the Ash vs. Evil Dead TV series, multiple video games, and a handful of comic book series.
One more movie is in the pipeline, Evil Dead Rise. Original Ash himself, Bruce Campbell, is offering some clarity on whether the movie is another complete reboot, a direct sequel to the first trilogy, or something in between. Speaking to AL.com, Campbell talked about how the lines between reboot, remake, and sequel blur now and where Evil Dead Rise stands on that spectrum. As it turns out, it’s not really any of those things, but a spinoff:
“Rebooting can be very confusing and frustrating and not always successful. Reboot, sequel, remake; we have all these crazy terms. What we’re doing now is we’re saying, ‘Look, this is another Evil Dead movie and that book gets around, a lot of people run into it and it’s another story.’ The main key with Evil Dead is they’re just regular people who are battling what seems to be a very unstoppable evil, and so that’s where the horror comes from. It’s not someone who’s skilled. They’re not fighting a soldier. They’re not fighting a scientist. They’re not fighting anybody more than your average neighbor. This one is going to be a similar thing.”
He then added another new and crucial detail about the new movie: “We’re going to have a heroine, a woman in charge, and she’s going to try and save her family.”
Interesting. It appears that Evil Dead Rise will take a similar concept to Nia Da Costa’s Candyman, which is being described as a “spiritual sequel” to the original, with the lore and universe remaining the same but the story revolving around a different set of characters. According to the project’s IMDb page (so take it with a grain of salt for now), this time the Evil Dead story will unfold in an urban setting, with the Deadites infesting a city high-rise.
The Hole in the Ground‘s Lee Cronin has been tapped to direct the sequel as well as write. As a lifelong fan of the original trilogy, he’s approached the newest movie very carefully, as he explained in a September interview with Comicbook.com:
“For me, the key thing I kept reminding myself of, when you’re in the trenches and you’re developing something, was to make sure it’s a roller coaster. To make sure that it has twists and turns and that it’s visceral and engaging. To sum all that up, to come back to what I just said, I wanted to create a roller coaster of terror. That was really the key for me. My memories of Evil Dead, when I watched them at a young age, always marveling at ‘How does this even exist?’ It just continues to poke at my brain and refresh every time I watch it. So to boil it down to an even simpler thing was that it’s experiential. It has to be a horror experience. And that’s the key and that’s what I’m trying to achieve with this.”
I see this as the best of both worlds as it allows Cronin’s movie to remain rooted firmly in the mythology and spirit of the original trilogy while allowing him to try something new.
No release date has been set yet for Evil Dead Rise, but we’ll keep you updated as we get more news.