The Evil Dead franchise is seen to be inextricably linked to the larger-than-life portrayal of the series hero Ash Williams by Bruce Campbell. So much so that previous attempts to make an Evil Dead movie with a new lead did not fare as well as hoped. Now, Campbell, who is producing Evil Dead Rise to be directed by Lee Cronin, has revealed that the film will feature another new lead who is female.
"Rebooting [a series] can be very confusing and frustrating and not always successful. Reboot, sequel, remake we have all these crazy terms. What we're doing now is we're saying," Look, this is another 'Evil Dead' movie and that book gets around, a lot of people run into it and it's another story." The main key with Evil Dead is they're just regular people who are battling what seems to be a very unstoppable evil, and so that's where the horror comes from. It's not someone who's skilled. They're not fighting a soldier. They're not fighting a scientist. They're not fighting anybody more than your average neighbor. This one is going to be a similar thing. We're going to have a heroine, a woman in charge, and she's going to try and save her family."
This is far from the first time a woman has taken the lead in an Evil Dead story. In the 2013 soft reboot of the franchise, a new character named Mia Allen took the place of Ash Williams in defending her companions inside a deserted cabin against a group of Deadites, the undead species of monsters brought to life by the evil book known as the Necronomicon. The plan was for Mia and Ash to team up in a sequel, but that plan never materialized after a sequel failed to get greenlit.
Then came the TV series Ash vs Evil Dead, which featured a middle-aged Ash Williams teaming up with new characters to continue to deal with the menace of the undead. In that series, Ash's companions included Kelly Maxwell and Ruby Knowby, both of whom joined Campbell's character in kicking all kinds of demonic butt.
It seems Bruce Campbell and Co. are aiming for a similar dynamic with their upcoming Evil Dead movie, this time with a female lead who is married with children, in reference to Campbell's remark that she would "try and save her family". For now, the actor revealed that the new movie is closer than ever to going into production, as soon as they find a suitable partner.
"We're honing-in, circling the building now trying to lock in a partner. We have a couple of bidders and we're trying to just find the correct suitor and we have a script written and a director picked. Sam Raimi handpicked a guy named Lee Cronin, who's a very good Irish filmmaker. And it's got a very good modern tale. It's a modern-day urban "Evil Dead," it's called "Evil Dead Rise." And we're hoping to do that next year."
This story about Evil Dead Rises first appeared at al.com.