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Bruce Campbell Shares Some Exciting News About Evil Dead Rise's Release

Aside from always following through on instructions from director Sam Raimi to beat himself up — whether as the chainsaw-handed Ash Williams in the "Evil Dead" saga, or the fist-punching Pizza Poppa in "Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness" — Bruce Campbell has also done his fair share of work on the other side of the camera, as a producer. Together with Raimi and longtime film and TV collaborator Rob Tapert, Campbell produced the 2013 remake of "Evil Dead" under the direction of Fede Alvarez. On top of that, Campbell brought his creative visions to the fore as the star and executive producer of "Ash vs. Evil Dead," an episodic TV horror-comedy that aired on Starz from 2015 to 2018. 

Retiring from physically playing Ash (via Comic Book Resources) after the cancellation of "Ash vs. Evil Dead" in 2018, Campbell has once again found himself calling shots from behind the scenes with Raimi and Tapert with "Evil Dead Rise," which abandons the haunted "cabin in the woods" motif for a more modern setting in a city high-rise.

"We were all very involved in this film. [Director-writer] Lee Cronin did a great job, and we're more than a little excited to present it," Campbell told Looper in an exclusive interview in June 2022. "The flick is very well-crafted, and fans will appreciate not only the Easter eggs honoring the past, but Lee's vision for a new Evil Dead, which is memorable."

At the time of Campbell's conversation with Looper, "Evil Dead Rise" was pegged for an exclusive streaming release on HBO Max in the U.S., but with no specific date attached. Apparently, though, the film was so well-received by the powers at New Line Cinema that be that those plans may be changing.

Campbell says Evil Dead Rise may debut in theaters

In an interview with Comic Book Resources during San Diego Comic-Con, Bruce Campbell revealed that higher-ups behind "Evil Dead Rise" were so impressed with a recent preview of the film that they are rethinking the film's straight-to-streaming strategy.

"We just had a preview that went ... That [had] very high ratings. They were potentially going to stream it on HBO Max, but it might go theatrical," Campbell told the outlet, presumably referring to the brass at New Line. "Maybe in the fall."

While that idea hasn't been officially confirmed, the fact that the news comes from Campbell the producer — and arguably the bloody heart and soul of the franchise, along with Sam Raimi and Rob Tapert — it should be taken seriously. Another indicator that "Evil Dead Rise" is headed to the big screen in the U.S. is that the film has already been scheduled for a theatrical release overseas. According to a May 2021 report by British entertainment news outlet NME, "Evil Dead Rise" will be distributed in theaters by Studio Canal in the U.K.

The plot of Evil Dead Rise largely remains a mystery

With the release of "Evil Dead Rise" mere months away, only scant details have been revealed about the next chapter of the "Evil Dead" saga. According to Variety, Alyssa Sutherland and Lily Sullivan play estranged sisters "whose reunion is cut short by the rise of flesh-possessing demons." Demons — labeled "Deadites" in the "Evil Dead" universe — have been, of course, the chief antagonists throughout the "Evil Dead" films and TV series.

Apart from that, Bruce Campbell discussed with CBR the shift in location of the action — and possibly the tone of "Evil Dead Rise." The "Evil Dead" movies and TV series, by and large, have been horror comedies, but Campbell seems to be alluding that "Evil Dead Rise" — much like the 2013 version of "Evil Dead"— will be of the straight-up horror variety. "It's an urban version of 'Evil Dead' now ... Ain't no cabin anymore. We're going single mom in the city. The apartment is the cabin," Campbell told CBR. 

While "Evil Dead Rise" won't be featuring the return of Campbell's Ash, fans can at least take solace in that he's returned as the voice of the character in recent video game release "Evil Dead: The Game." Also, Campbell said during an interview at San Diego Comic Con that talks are underway to revive "Ash vs. Evil Dead," but as an animated series.