You can’t keep a good Deadite down. Bad ones too, we imagine. And they’re all so wickedly bad in the indestructibly groovy Evil Dead franchise. Hence just two years after Bruce Campbell hung up the chainsaw for good with the conclusion of the Ash vs. Evil Dead TV series, he’s confirming that the movie franchise will nevertheless live on.
While speaking with Empire, Campbell revealed the next Evil Dead movie is in active development with Lee Cronin, who directed A24’s The Hole in the Ground horror movie, taking over directorial duties.
“We’re just getting off the phone with Lee Cronin, who is writing and directing the next Evil Dead,” Campbell said. When asked if the movie will feature the familiar cabin in the woods, he added, “It’s called Evil Dead Now. Sam handpicked Lee—he did a cool movie called The Hole in the Ground. We’re going to get that sucker out as soon as practical.”
With that said, don’t get too excited if you think this means Campbell is coming out of retirement from playing our fair Ashley. When he put away the boomstick, he meant it. But he’s staying on the franchise as a producer.
“From this point forward, they kind of have to stand on their own,” Campbell said. “Which is fine. And liberating. You could have different heroes, different heroines in this case. This one’s gonna be a little more dynamic… We just want to keep the series current. And the mantra, really, is that our heroes and heroines are just regular people. That’s what we’re going to continue.”
The news by itself shouldn’t be too surprising as no popular movie franchise brand stays dead for long. But with an ambiguous title like Evil Dead Now it’s unclear whether the film is a full-fledged reboot or whether it is set in one of the multiple timelines of the previous films. While concepts like continuity and canon have always been fairly abstract ideas to the Evil Dead movies, there is the generally accepted universe of the original three movies—which featured three different versions of Ash seeing his girlfriend Linda turned into a ghoul—that range in tone from darkly humorous horror (the original “video nasty” film Sam Raimi and Campbell made fresh out of school) to pure slapstick camp with a time traveling setting.
However, there is also the 2013 remake from director Fede Alvarez. That movie, which was much more straight ahead horror, both appeared to play by its own rules and be set in the same universe as the earlier films. In fact, for years Raimi and Campbell teased the idea of Ash teaming up with the remake’s reformed Deadite heroine Mia, played by Jane Levy.
That of course never happened, but even if Ash is gone, these movies are so weirdly random that it doesn’t seem like Cronin couldn’t one day tie his presumed heroine into the events of any or all past films. What’s Ted Raimi doing these days?