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Evil Dead Rise Release Date, Cast, Plot And Trailer - What We Know So Far

Horror fans, rejoice — the Evil Dead are coming back to swallow your soul.

In a recent interview with Diabolique, producer Bruce "Super-Chin" Campbell revealed that not only is a fourth (or fifth, depending on how you look at it) installment in the venerable horror franchise finally gearing up to enter production, it even has a name: Evil Dead Rise.

For those of you who recently got hit in the head with a large rock, a brief rundown: Campbell has been involved in the franchise from the very beginning, appearing in the lead role of Ashley J. Williams in writer-director Sam Raimi's debut feature, 1981's succinctly titled Evil Dead. Produced using borderline-guerrilla tactics on a shoestring budget, the flick set itself apart from typical early '80s slasher fare with its innovative camera work, creepy setting (a dilapidated cabin in the middle of some foreboding woods), and ferocious violence. In it, Ash, his girlfriend Linda, and their three buddies head off for a weekend of camping at the cabin, only to unleash the fury of ancient demons by inadvertently playing back recordings of incantations from the Sumerian Book of the Dead  the "Necronomicon."

1987's Evil Dead 2: Dead by Dawn was essentially a remake of the first film on a much higher budget (and don't let anybody tell you otherwise), and it injected healthy amounts of slapstick comedy to go along with its buckets of gore. The flick became an instant cult classic, and spawned a true sequel: 1992's Army of Darkness, which saw Ash battling "Deadites" in medieval times after getting sucked into a whirling interdimensional vortex at the conclusion of the previous film.

The franchise received a soft reboot in 2013 with writer-director Fede Alvarez's Evil Dead, with an all-new cast visiting the infamous cabin. That flick was, without hyperbole, one of the most terrifying movies of the last 20 years or so. Raimi and Campbell, who produced the flick, teased that they were working on something new in July 2019 — and now, we have a few more details.

What is the release date for Evil Dead Rise?

In his Diabolique interview, Campbell spent a great deal of time discussing his upcoming book The Cool Side of My Pillow. In fact, he was only asked for an update on a new Evil Dead flick as an afterthought, and while his answer was short and sweet, there's still quite a bit to unpack. "The official name is Evil Dead Rise," Campbell said. "We're getting a new draft in. I don't think anything will happen until 2021. Full bore ahead, we're very excited about it. A whole, new ballgame. No more cabin in the woods."

See what we mean? Okay, first things first: while there has been no release date announced for the movie, we can use this statement to extrapolate when we might be seeing it in theaters. Apparently, the script is written but still undergoing revisions, as there's a "new draft" forthcoming. As to who is writing that draft, that isn't clear — but ScreenRant has reported that the flick will be directed by Irish writer-director Lee Cronin, whose lone previous feature is the unheralded 2019 horror flick The Hole in the Ground. Cronin co-wrote that film, so it stands to reason he may also be toiling away on the script for Evil Dead Rise — possibly with an assist from Raimi and/or Campbell.

We can expect it to take a year or more from the time production commences to the flick being ready to hit theaters, so assuming that Campbell's prediction is accurate, we almost certainly won't see Evil Dead Rise hit screens until sometime in 2022. We're going to go out on a limb and predict that the film will drop right around, oh, say, Halloween — but you may want to bookmark this page, because we'll be updating it with an official release date as soon as there's an announcement.

Will Bruce Campbell star in Evil Dead Rise?

The 2013 edition of Evil Dead subtly acknowledged the events of the previous films, making it as much sequel as it was reboot — a "seboot," if you will. After spending its entire run time making audiences scream in pure terror, it gave them a post-credits sequence which made them scream in utter delight: bathed in darkness, lit only from behind, we saw Campbell as Ash, intoning a single word — "groovy" — before whipping his head around to face the audience.

This set off wild speculation that Jane Levy's Mia, the hero of the movie, would cross paths with Ash in some kind of crossover film (inasmuch as a franchise can cross over with itself). Apparently, though, this isn't going to happen. After reprising the role of Ash for three seasons between 2015 and 2018 on the Starz series Ash vs. Evil Dead, Campbell has made it clear that he's done with the character — and that the franchise, in his opinion, will be better for it.

Speaking with Empire magazine earlier this year, Campbell also confirmed two things: that the new flick would have a female lead like the 2013 film, and that in the future, the franchise would not strictly adhere to established continuity. "From this point forward, [the movies] kind of have to stand on their own," he 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."

Is Evil Dead Rise a sequel to Army of Darkness?

Of course, just because there will be no Ash doesn't mean that Evil Dead Rise couldn't revisit the settings of previous films — and since Campbell teased a change of scenery with that "No more cabin in the woods" remark, and only one film in the franchise so far has taken place anywhere but that cabin, it's worth wondering if the new flick could be a direct sequel to Army of Darkness. The most action-packed and comedic film in the series, Army got a lot of mileage out of medieval villagers, under siege from Deadites, not knowing what the heck to make of Ash and his "boomstick." Hey, the new movie's title even has a sort of prequel-y feel to it. Will we be revisiting the Middle Ages, maybe even before Ash dropped in, to see how the Deadite threat began?

Unfortunately, we're going with "no." As far back as late 2013, Campbell has stated publicly that Army of Darkness 2 is a non-starter, and his more recent comments about the franchise centering on new characters and staying "current" in future installments only seem to cement that notion. It sounds like Evil Dead Rise is going to be one hundred percent its own thing, and we're totally on board with that.

Who is in the cast of Evil Dead Rise?

Okay, so, no Ash. Thanks to the Starz series, Campbell has given us more of that character than we ever reasonably expected to get, so we can live with that. In fact, the 2013 edition of Evil Dead worked beautifully without him (save for that tiny little post-credits cameo), so we're of the opinion that keeping the series focused on fresh characters is a good plan. Having said that: what about Mia? Levy gave us a heroine so strongly drawn that we could easily see her carrying the franchise for another movie or two. Perhaps she'll be returning to do battle with the Deadites once more?

We're really sorry about this, but if you love Mia as much as we do, we're about to break your heart. In a recent conversation with Collider, Levy expressed her reticence to do any horror films at all for the time being, saying, "Screaming for my life is something that I've done enough of... I'm just saying, I'm not sure I wanna spend a whole three months of my life running and screaming for survival." Asked point blank whether she would be interested if Cronin gave her a call to talk about bringing Mia back for his new movie, the actress was dead silent for about ten seconds, apparently lost in thought... before issuing a definitive "No."

We know, we're bummed, too. With no announcements having been made as to who the producers might even have in mind to fill out the cast, we have no idea who we'll be seeing facing down the demonic menace in Evil Dead Rise — only that it apparently won't be Campbell or Levy.

What is the plot of Evil Dead Rise?

You've probably parsed out by now that Campbell had no details to offer about the plot of Evil Dead Rise, but once again, we can ascertain a few possibilities from what we know won't be on tap. We won't see any recurring characters from previous movies, and we won't be going back to that creepy cabin in the woods — which means all new faces in an all new setting. Army of Darkness notwithstanding, the basic formula of the Evil Dead movies has remained pretty darned consistent, so it seems to us that taking that formula — an unlucky party stumbles upon the Necronomicon, the wrong freaky words get recited, demonic terror ensues — and simply transposing it to a setting other than the middle of the woods would be kind of a stroke of genius.

Since the franchise hasn't gone on for enough installments to send the unholy book into space yet, we're going to guess that Cronin and company will get as far away from the woods as otherwise possible, and set the action in the city. We'll even nominate New York — think of the mileage to be gotten out of the fact that New Yorkers see so much craziness on a daily basis that a roving Deadite might not even register as being out of the ordinary. Mr. Cronin, if you're reading this, no thanks necessary; a nice fruit basket would be great, though.

Is there a trailer for Evil Dead Rise?

Obviously, with the start of production still some time off, we don't have anything resembling a trailer for Evil Dead Rise, and won't for a long time. Hopefully, though, Campbell's spilling the beans on the flick's title means that the gears are starting to turn, and we'll be getting more information sooner rather than later. If indeed production is to ramp up in 2021, then casting will have to begin before too long — and when it does, you can bet we'll be all over that news.

Speaking of which, we should reiterate that we'll be regularly updating this post with any developments that come down the pike, so we suggest giving it a bookmark. In the meantime, Netflix subscribers can tide themselves over by revisiting Raimi's original 1981 classic — it's available to watch on the streamer right now.