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Evil Dead Rise's Director Teases Bruce Campbell's Cameo Might Mean Something Bigger

The following article contains spoilers for "Evil Dead Rise."

"Evil Dead Rise" reinvigorates the franchise by paying tribute to what's come before while blazing a bloody new path forward. Long-time fans of "Evil Dead" will undoubtedly appreciate all the shoutouts to previous entries, such as Beth (Lily Sullivan) picking up a chainsaw to do some damage. And while series mainstay Ash Williams (Bruce Campbell) doesn't make a physical cameo, viewers can hear his voice (or at least Campbell's) at one point where Beth receives audial guidance on how to defeat the Deadites.

Fans may have been disappointed they couldn't see Ash or his mighty boom stick, but that was the plan from the start. Director Lee Cronin spoke with Insider about how the intention was always to make a different kind of "Evil Dead" movie sans Ash. He explained, "They made it very clear that they didn't want a story with Ash in it, and not that I didn't want a story with Ash in it, but I wanted to tell my own story." However, Ash's role in the revival may extend beyond an audio recording. Cronin went on to talk about how Ash's role could mean greater machinations are afoot. 

Ash Williams: Time Traveler?

The "Evil Dead" franchise has always been unique among its horror brethren. As the series went on, it began to incorporate more slapstick humor, and the third film, "Army of Darkness," sees Ash travel hundreds of years in the past, foregoing many horror elements to focus more on action and comedy. That's not even getting into the video games and the musical that have materialized over the years. 

All of this is to say that there's a lot of room for Ash to reappear down the line, including in the "Evil Dead Rise" continuity. Lee Cronin admitted that even though Bruce Campbell is the one providing the voice on the recording, that could actually be Ash from hundreds of years ago (since time traveling is just another Tuesday for him). Cronin continued telling Insider, "Think about how time works for Ash as a character, and that voice that you may hear is captured on something that was recorded 100 years ago."

As audiences see at the end of "Evil Dead Rise," the Deadites are still out there, and if the survivors hope to stay alive, they may need assistance. Cronin concluded, "And the fact that his particular line is a warning showcases somebody that knows more than the other people in the room... I know that sounds very cryptic, but it's supposed to." This franchise has proven that anything is truly possible, so if it does well enough, it may not be long until viewers find Ash back on the big screen. For now, "Evil Dead Rise" is playing in theaters.