It's a not-so-groovy day for horror fans. After nearly four decades, Bruce Campbell has announced that he's hanging it up as the Deadite killing Ash Williams from the Evil Dead franchise. This comes just after the announcement was made that Starz has decided to cancel Ash vs. Evil Dead after just three seasons. With no season 4 pick-up, Campbell has decided this is the opportune time to leave the role of Ash behind for good. Here's what the actor had to say about it on Twitter.
"Big props to fans for the effort, but I'm retired as Ash. #timetofrysomeotherfish"
This was in response to fans who have been begging Netflix on social media to save Ash Vs. Evil Dead. As Bruce Campbell says, he has not necessarilly bigger, but different fish to fry now that the show is over. He's been playing the role of Ash since the first Evil Dead was released in 1981 and, while Campbell has a very long list of credits to his name, that role has always been his calling card. For fans, it's tough to hear that he's leaving it behind.
Director Sam Raimi and Bruce Campbell began working on The Evil Dead in Detroit together in the late 70s and shot it on a shoestring budget. The movie eventually found a massive audience on home video and that led to an eventual sequel, that is essentially a remake of the first movie but in a very self-aware way, Evil Dead II. Once that happened, Ash Williams had cemented his place as a genre icon, but he had plenty more to give. Campbell would reprise the role five years later in the comedic Army of Darkness.
Ash Williams is the only character to appear in every entry of the Evil Dead franchise. The character made a very brief cameo, via a post-credits scene, in the 2013 remake. Just a few years later, Sam Raimi and Bruce Campbell hatched a plan to bring Ash to the small screen in Ash vs. Evil Dead. The show has been incredibly well-received by fans, but unfortunately didn't do all that well in the ratings department. So it looks like that will be the last time we see the character on screen, at least as portrayed by Bruce Campbell. But this feels like a role that Hollywood dare not ever recast.
In addition to the movie and TV appearances, Ash has also appeared in video games such as Hail to the King and A Fistful of Boomstick, as well as several comic book series. Perhaps most notably in 2007's Freddy vs. Jason vs. Ash, which was originally pitched as a movie, but wound up becoming a comic book once the movie fell apart. Hopefully, Ash can continue to appear in other mediums like comics even though Bruce Campbell is hanging it up. Maybe one day he'll change his mind, but if not, he's given us something truly special over all these years. You can check out Bruce Campbell's Twitter announcement for yourself below.