×
Cookies help us deliver our Services. By using our Services, you agree to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Sam Raimi working on a new Evil Dead movie

Evil Dead fans, get ready for some groovy news.

Sam Raimi, whose directorial career began with the low-budget 1981 shocker that spawned two sequels, a TV series, and a reboot, has indicated that he plans to bring the franchise back to the big screen — and he has several ideas as to how he might do so.

In a recent interview with Bloody Disgusting, the filmmaker said that depending on who decides to get involved, he has no fewer than three potential concepts for a new Evil Dead flick. While he's aware that the Starz series Ash vs. the Evil Dead — which was canceled last year after three seasons — is sorely missed by its fan base, he doesn't see a return to the small screen for the franchise in the cards.

"I'd love to make another [movie]," Raimi said. "I don't think TV is in its future, but we're talking about — Bruce [Campbell], Rob [Tapert] and myself — one or two different ways to go for the next movie… we're working on some ideas right now."

Of course, the burning question on everyone's mind is just where in the Evil Dead canon a new picture would fall. Raimi directed the first film and its sequels — 1987's Evil Dead 2: Dead By Dawn and 1992's Army of Darkness — all of which starred his friend Bruce "Super-Chin" Campbell, who also led the Starz series. But the 2013 reboot — which Raimi called "a part of the Evil Dead universe but not part of the Bruce Campbell storyline" — featured an entirely new cast, and was helmed by then-unknown director Fede Álvarez.

That film proved to be perhaps the greatest horror remake of all time, and Álvarez has since revealed himself to be a major talent, fielding the critically lauded (and equally masterful) thriller Don't Breathe in 2016. According to Raimi, whatever story line he intends to pursue would depend heavily on exactly which version of the Evil Dead band he could get back together — if any. The filmmaker pointed to the fact that Campbell has stated that he's done with the role of the demon-slaying, wisecracking Ashley J. Williams, and also to Álvarez' increased stature, as potential stumbling blocks for the new project.

"I would be thrilled if Bruce Campbell changed his mind about retirement, would come back for the original Evil Dead line," he said. "But if not, I'm very happy to work with, if Fede would come back and make the sequel… but he's such a big shot now. He's so successful, an artist in demand, that I don't think he'd want to do that."

It's certainly a bummer that Raimi feels that way, because the prospect of a sequel to the Álvarez reboot has had horror fans salivating since the moment they left the theater in 2013. Álvarez himself has teased fans about the possibility near-constantly, with the latest development being a tweet he issued in November 2018 to see which his fans would prefer: a sequel to Evil Dead, or a sequel to Don't Breathe. Speaking with MovieWeb, the director didn't seem too psyched about the results. "When I tweeted that I was interested in seeing what people prefer," he said. "We were having some internal debates about what people would be interested in most. Unfortunately, Evil Dead 2 won. Which, I guess I would have preferred Don't Breathe 2 to win because it's one of my own creations. Obviously Evil Dead has the bigger following. So that's what happened."

Álvarez went on to imply that while his return to the franchise isn't off the table, the sequel to Don't Breathe is much closer to becoming a reality. "It doesn't mean that we won't make them. And that I make them, might not be that I'm directing, but I might be producing. They're just ideas right now. Nothing to announce officially. We do have a script for Don't Breathe 2. That's the only difference. We don't have a script for Evil Dead 2, but we do have a script for Don't Breathe 2 that we wrote."

Well, that doesn't sound terribly promising for Evil Dead die-hards. But in his Bloody Disgusting interview, Raimi teased the fact that if none of his buddies are willing to come out to play, he has a contingency plan. "There's also a third possibility we're talking about," he said, "so I think you may see some action on the Evil Dead movie in the next six months."

Now, that does sound pretty promising. Of course, just because Raimi hand-picked Álvarez to direct the Evil Dead reboot doesn't necessarily mean lightning will strike twice — talents like Álvarez don't tend to just fall from the sky. But we submit that Raimi is already working with a qualified candidate to further the franchise's legacy: Alexandre Aja, who helmed the Raimi-produced Crawl, and who has also proven himself to be adept at putting unique spins on existing material. The French filmmaker burst onto the scene with his 2003 feature High Tension (which is an adaptation of the killer Dean Koontz novel Intensity, albeit not officially) and scored a hit with his remake of Wes Craven's The Hills Have Eyes, which also happens to be among the best horror remakes ever.

We'll have to wait to see how it all pans out, but at least things are starting to move and shake for Evil Dead's return to theaters. We'll keep our eyes peeled for any developments, and report them as they become available.