It’s time to grab your boomsticks and get groovy again! Yes, after years of being stuck in development hell, a fourth Evil Dead feature film is finally happening with Bruce Campbell…. but not Campbell’s Ash Williams.
Confused? Well, speaking to Empire, the franchise leading man announced that he and series creator/director Sam Raimi are helping to develop the film, but neither man will be in front of or behind the camera respectively. Instead, for the director’s chair, Raimi has “handpicked” newcomer Lee Cronin to write and direct the new film which will be titled Evil Dead Now. Cronin was the writer/director behind last year’s The Hole In the Ground, an Irish indie horror that was well-received critically. That was his feature film debut, so this is stepping it up big time for his career, but I’m sure Raimi wouldn’t trust his beloved franchise to somebody he didn’t see huge promise in.
As for Campbell not being in front of the camera, its been confirmed that his Ash has hung up the chainsaw and shotgun for good. Instead, Cronin will focus on a new, as-of-yet-unconfirmed protagonist, who Campbell hinted could possibly be female.
From this point forward, they kind of have to stand on their own. 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.
This won’t be the franchise’s first female protagonist, of course. In 2013, Raimi handed the series reins over to Fede Alvarez for an Evil Dead remake which starred Jane Levy as a new character named Mia. Alvarez’s remake – which was actually damn good – also took the franchise back to its intense and gory horror roots. After Raimi and Campbell’s original 1981 blood-soaked no-budget horror – which followed a group of college students who accidentally released demons into the world after finding a mysterious audiotape in a cabin – 1987’s Evil Dead II and its 1992 follow-up Army of Darkness added a lot of tongue-in-cheek humour (and time travel) to the mix.
That trend would continue in Ash vs The Evil Dead, a TV series that saw Campbell bring Ash out of retirement after the world is once again threatened by the demonic Deadites and the Necronomicon. Running from 2015 to 2018, the series was an absolute blast and huge critical success but unfortunately declining viewership numbers saw it cancelled after three seasons leaving Ash’s story unconcluded in a post-apocalyptic future.
Whether Evil Dead Now will pick up strands from Ash vs Evil Dead or any of the other movies, or completely do its own thing (though seemingly still in that continuity and not as a total reboot like Alvarez’s film) is unclear right now. There’s also no timeline as to when it will be released as Campbell reveals that they’re just now “getting off the phone with Lee Cronin”, only saying that “We’re going to get that sucker out as soon as practical.” In other words, this is still very early in development. That gives us lots of time to speculate and dream up our own scenarios for what we want a fourth Evil Dead film to look like. What are your ideas?
Last Updated: June 9, 2020