23 years after the last installment in the Evil Dead franchise, and a couple years after a remake seemed to ensure that Ash would never be coming back, Bruce Campbell is set to reprise the iconic role for Starz’ Ash vs. Evil Dead TV series, and today he’s offered up a whole lot of info about the upcoming show!
Campbell spilled the beans in an interview with Entertainment Weekly, where he revealed what we can expect from the series, while also addressing the ‘why not make another movie?’ question that many horror fans have been asking.
“We realized if we made another movie, frankly, it would probably be too expensive,” said Campbell. “But in the format of a TV show, we could give people exactly what they wanted and expand the character and the story even more. Ash would probably have more dialogue in one season than in three movies. He’ll have to become a more fleshed-out character as well. And we never burned Evil Dead as a franchise out—it’s not like we did 13 of these movies. So we felt like, what the heck, let’s give it a try.”
It’s been over two decades since we last saw Ash, and Campbell describes the character as being as “a crabby middle-aged man,” and “not the Ash he used to be.”
“Ash has survivor’s guilt,” Campbell elaborated. “You could have a heyday with his PTSD. He’s a war vet. He doesn’t want to talk about it, and he’ll lie about that stump on his hand to impress the ladies. This is a guy who’s got some issues. He’s emotionally stunted. But he’s the guy you want in the foxhole next to you. That’s the funny thing—he’s kind of an idiot, but man, if I had to go to battle, I’d want to be next to that guy, because he’ll bring it if he has to.”
In Ash vs. Evil Dead, which is fittingly being labeled a horror-comedy, Ash will be teaming up with two other characters, so the task of saving the world will no longer fall solely in his hands.
“It’s a threesome, which is a good number,” says Campbell. “Since it’s not cast yet, it would be silly to fully describe them. But they’re supposed to be two very good counterparts. One is a male-bonding situation; the other is father-figure deal, since Ash could have a daughter the same age as this character. Hopefully we’ll pull Ash out of his loner-veteran mode and get him back into being a human being again.”
So, what sort of tone can we expect from the series? Will the comedy dominate the horror, or vice versa? Campbell explains…
“There’s jokey horror and horror-horror,” he said. “When there’s a presence in the room, it has to be dealt with because it’s an extremely dangerous and volatile situation. Humor may come out of it, but there’s nothing funny about a demon ripping somebody’s head off. And the beauty of Starz is there’s no content issues. Let’s face it: Fans want the carnage and the mayhem. So we intend to give them quite the explosion of viscera. Most of it directed at me, unfortunately.”
Evil Dead creator Sam Raimi is attached to direct the pilot of Ash vs. Evil Dead, paving the way for other filmmakers to come in and helm subsequent episodes. That said, Campbell promises that Raimi will be very hands-on, and will be involved throughout the series.
“We’re going to get him as much as we possibly can,” Campbell assured. “He’s a director of gigantic Hollywood movies, so we’re pretty fortunate for him to bless this project, and get it started, and do the pilot, and let people know we’re back and up and running. And Sam really shines in post-production. He loves the editing room. So he’ll have his hands on this whether he’s physically there or not, and he will certainly get us going. We’re just as concerned as the fans [about making it right], it’s not like we don’t care. We’ll be all over this thing like a cheap suit.”
“We feel we now have 23 more years of experience to hopefully provide an entertaining half hour of outrageousness,” Campbell noted at the end of the interview, indicating that the wait is going to have been more than worth it.
Ash vs. Evil Dead is expected to premiere sometime in 2015.