With the 5th installment of “The Evil Dead” hitting theaters this past weekend, horror fans want to know about the future of the franchise. Creator Sam Raimi and producer/[former] series star Bruce Campbell have both been dropping some pretty heavy hints about it. In a recent interview, Campbell seems to be putting a lot of those breadcrumbs together.
The newest film “Evil Dead Rise” has made no secrete that it will be following in the vain of the 2013 “Evil Dead” remake. At least in the sense that the story is no longer dependent on Campbell playing the perpetual hero, Ash Williams. A role he has repeatedly expressed he wants to be done with, in favor of being behind the camera for all the Deadite mayhem.
“It’s all about the books now,” Campbell told the AV Club. “It has nothing to do with Ash or any particular character. In Army of Darkness, we first saw three books. So we know there are three out there, and none of them are any good. It’s about: where does that darn book wind up, who gets it, and what happens?”
“But the universe is the same,” Campbell continued. “It’s about innocent people with no special skills having to fight for their very lives, and in this case, it’s a wayward sister and this young daughter. So it’s still a pressure cooker. They get isolated. The apartment is the cabin. The fact that it’s a creepy old high-rise in downtown L.A. is just cool.”
This basically confirms that Ash is over and we’ll just be focusing on the Books of the Dead from here on out. Not surprising since Ash only made a post-credit cameo in the 2013 remake. Apparently his “presents” in “Evil Dead Rise” is so fast that director Lee Cronin said he’d pay the first person to spot him $50.
But in moving away from Ash, it seems like we’ll be getting more “Evil Dead.” “I think the stories will progress a little more now,” Campbell explains. “We’re going to try and do them more like every two or three years rather than every 10 years. It’s also the first time Sam is working with his brother Ivan to create an overall Bible that will give future writers and directors an idea of where this thing should go next to potentially tie in some of these stories. So I think it’s going to get a little more tied in as the years go by.”
“But because it’s all about the books. It could be a book in the past, a book in the future. It’s yet to be determined,” Campbell adds.
While Campbell clearly wants to move away from Ash there are some characters he would like to revisit. “ I would revisit Brisco as an older cowboy,” he said. “There are some fun stories you could do there. I would also revisit Burn Notice, because there’s still a bunch of scumbags in the world that need to be fucked with—we can do it as a limited series or TV movie. That’d be fine, too.” [I would now like to start a massive fan push for more “Brisco County Jr.” “Burn Notice” is fine too, but we need more Brisco in our lives. ]
“Evil Dead Rise” will hit theaters today, April 21, 2023. Check out the blood-soaked trailer below: