When director Sam Raimi teased the idea of a TV show based on The Evil Dead this past July while promoting the upcoming video game adaptation The Last of Us at Comic Con, fans were excited. But they also weren't holding their breath, as the idea of an Army Of Darkness sequel in some form or another has been kicked around ever since that sequel's theatrical debut in 1993. But the skepticism changed to true adulation yesterday when Starz announced the TV show Ash Vs. Evil Dead has been officially green lit for 2015. And that Bruce Campbell is returning to reprise his iconic role as Deadite survivalist and horror icon Ashley J. Williams in ten episodes. Epic indeed!

What can we expect from this new horror show? Quite a bit, actually. And with the entire creative team from the first three movies returning in some capacity, this will surely be something special. Its a monumental moment for horror fans of all ages who have fallen in love with this franchise, and it seems like we'd all be content with watching Ash swing his chainsaw hand around for ten straight hours. But there's much more than that lurking underneath the surface, with plenty of surprises ahead. While we only know the brief synopsis at this point, here's what else we can expect from Ash Vs. Evil Dead as Sam Raimi and Bruce Campbell reunite to mount what could be the greatest TV show the horror genre has ever seen.

RELATED: New Evil Dead Documentary Is Getting a Fantasia Virtual Premiere in August

[1] A True Sequel, Not a Reboot

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We've reached an interesting crossroads in terms of classic horror. Most of our favorite slasher franchises have been remade or rebooted at this point, with completely new iterations already on the way. And the 1981 classic The Evil Dead is no excepetion. Except that Fede Alvarez's 2013 retelling of Evil Dead was a little more willingly accepted by the fans than some of the so-called 're-imagininings' we've seen in recent years. It was a hit with audiences and critics alike, and a sequel was planned, but then canceled. The movie revealed an interesting idea during its closing credits. It actually exists on the same plane of reality as Ash and the Army Of Darkness. And now, we get to revisit that character here, in what will essentially be a 10 hour Army Of Darkness sequel. While the TV show may utilize some of the aesthetic changes seen in the overall look of Fede Alvarez's spinoff, we are being treated to a true follow-up that will directly connect to the previous three films, and possibly the fourth film as well. This isn't reinventing the wheel. Bruce Campbell is back, baby! And his story will continue as it was always meant to. We aren't getting a new take on the character, but a continuation of everything that has come before it.

[2] Sam Raimi Will Set the Tone

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Possibly the best news to come out of Starz' press release yesterday was the fact that the first episode of Ash Vs. the Evil Dead will be directed by Sam Raimi himself, director of 1981's The Evil Dead, 1987's Evil Dead 2: Dead by Dawn, and 1993's Army Of Darkness. Which means the look and feel of the TV show, which will likely have a bigger budget than all three movies combined, will be exactly the same as the movies. And he will be setting it up for whoever comes into handle the next nine episodes. Its highly possible that Sam Raimi will even direct a few more down the line. Ash Vs. Evil Dead will feel like the old movies, with some new surprises thrown in the mix for good measure. Plus, Bruce Campbell has promised that the infamous 'splatstick' appeal that he and Sam Raimi invented with the originals will remain intact, even if the tone starts to careen down a darker road for our aging hero.

[3] No Restrictions!

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Have you seen American Horror Story on FX? While it plays on basic cable, it gets away with almost everything, from the gore to the sex, and all between. Its a lot more visceral than most theatrical horror films nowadays, most of which have to succumb to a PG-13 rating. With Ash Vs. the Evil Dead on Starz, it is only limited by the imagination of its makers. Anything can and will happen, and there will be no restrictions. If Sam Raimi wants to envelope his star in a tsunami of the brightest red blood, he can do that here, instead of making it green ooze or black snot. 2013's Evil Dead has a reputation for being one of the goriest movies of this decade. Those same violent tendencies can now play themselves out here in even grander fashion. Though, Sam Raimi is known for being a master at reserved control in shocking meyhem, meaning he can do quite a bit with just a little tease of bodily fluids. While his initial episode may not go all the way down the rabbit hole, some of the other directors being brought in now have a big wide open playground to pull Ash into that simply wouldn't be afforded in any other venue.

[4] The True Army Of Darkness Ending

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In 1993, we got an ending to Army Of Darkness that saw Ash returning to his clerk job at S-Mart, where he takes on a Deadite in the isle of this department store. That wasn't always the climax intended by director Sam Raimi though. In the original ending, Ash oversleeps in a cave and wakes up in a post-apocalyptic future. Fans have long been torn between the two endings, with some unaccepting of the other, depending on which one they saw first or their appreciation of dark versus light endings. The official press release pegs Ashley as an aging stock boy, so it's quite likely that the poor son of a bitch still works at S-Mart, and the whole cave scenario was all a dream. Either way, Ash Vs. Evil Dead promises to answer which ending is actually the real ending, though it would be hard to continue the series, which is set in modern day America, had Ash actually overslept in that cave to wake up in the far away future. This is where Ash is now, in 2014, following his adventures in that 80s cabin in the woods and his medieval jaunt through time. That doesn't mean we won't see more time travel, as the book of the dead is known to open wormholes. And one of those wormholes may even show an alternate timeline where Ash is in the post-apocalyptic future! The series hasn't set up many plot holes or unanswered questions, but if there are a few lingering about in the ether, they'll surely get answered here.

[5] Cameos and Other Fun Surprises

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Ash Vs. the Evil Dead is an opportunity for the entire creative team to reunite, with producer of all four feature films, Rob Tapert, back in the mix as well. We'll surely get to see some familiar faces that haven't been seen since The Evil Dead and Evil Dead 2: Dead by Dawn, including Ash's hand, which will surely turn up at some point. We're also promised a few of the original cast members who have been scarce in recent years. And a few of the old Deadites as well. We're also going to get the original book of the dead, not the refurbished one seen in the 2013 spinoff. And as stated before, there will be a return to S-Mart if we're to believe the press release. And of course we'll also see the return of Sam Raimi 's 1973 Oldsmobile Delta 88, which has appeared in most of his movies.

[6] Mia vs Ash?

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It was strange that Evil Dead 2 was canceled, as everyone felt pretty confident it would happen. 2013's Evil Dead sets up a fateful meeting between its heroine, Mia, and the original Deadite survivalist Ash during the end credits sequence. But perhaps the sequel isn't happening because Mia will be called upon at some point during this ten hour marathon of awesomeness to help Ash battle the evil dead, instead. Everyone who has any vested interest in this franchise as a whole definitely wants to see Jane Levy and Bruce Campbell sharing the same screen, and possibly two hands, so we're not putting it past the TV show to make that happen. With Suburgatory canceled this past spring, and nothing else on the immediate horizon, don't be surprised to hear that Jane Levy has joined the cast of Ash Vs. the Evil Dead in the very near future.

[7] Topical Horror Commentary with a Twist

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All great horror movies work as social commentary and speak to our current climate as a human race. Especially zombie movies, and Ash Vs. Evil Dead sounds like it could have been ripped directly from today's headlines, with Ebola dominating the news in the past couple of weeks. The plot reads: 'When a Deadite plague threatens to destroy all of mankind, Ash is finally forced to face his demons -personal and literal. Destiny, it turns out, has no plans to release the unlikely hero from its "Evil" grip.' The TV show won't take the material as literally or as heavily as some other recent horror movies, as there has always been a strong vein of comedy running throughout. We can expect to see today's plaque fears captured with quiet a bit of brevity and heart, which will result in something truly unique and maybe even a little different that what has come before it. Ash Vs. the Evil Dead has the possibility of entertaining, educating and informing the American public like nothing else has before on the dangers that surround us in our every day lives, creating something that is equal parts new and old at the same, pleasing hardcore fans and bringing in new ones. Ash Vs. the Evil Dead is poised for greatness on many different levels. Now all it takes is for Ahsley Williams not to screw it all up.

That's what we know so far in terms of Ash Vs. Evil Dead. We're excited about the return of Bruce Campbell as Ash. What about you?

B. Alan Orange at Movieweb
B. Alan Orange