If the next Evil Dead movie turns out to be a remake, many fans of CM Punk want to see the wrestler-turned-actor as the next Ash Williams. After franchise star Bruce Campbell retired from playing Ash again in any more live-action projects, the door was opened for a new actor to take on the iconic role in a potential reboot. Although the very idea may sound blasphemous for some fans, many others already have someone in mind as more and more people are taking to social media to call for casting former WWE Champion and horror genre newcomer CM Punk to get the role.
The concept of CM Punk playing Ash has been making some traction on Twitter lately after the horror movie Girl on the Third Floor recently began streaming on Netflix, introducing Punk to a new audience who may be unfamiliar with his work in the world of wrestling. Starring Punk in the lead role, a bulk of the movie is set with Punk alone in a haunted house, which is fairly reminiscent of the original Evil Dead films. Combine that with Punk's physical appearance, which many are saying resembles a young Bruce Campbell, and the result is many horror fans imagining Punk as the next Groovy One.
Of course, replacing Bruce Campbell as Ash would be an incredibly difficult challenge for any actor. After all, Campbell has been synonymous with Ash since 1981 when director Sam Raimi released The Evil Dead into theaters, producing one of the horror genre's all-time greatest heroes. After reprising the role for two movie sequels, Campbell would have another run with Ash in more recent years by headlining the Starz television series adaptation Ash vs. Evil Dead. When the series was axed by the network after three seasons in 2018, Campbell officially announced his retirement as Ash, apparently no longer wanting to be doused in blood for hours on end.
It does appear that we do in fact have another Evil Dead movie on the way, but it doesn't appear to be introducing a new version of Ash. "We're producing more Evil Dead movies. Maybe one later this year. Sam Raimi's handpicked the next guy to make another creepy Evil Dead film," Campbell told fans at Fan Expo Vancouver. Confirming he still has no plans to physically get involved, Campbell also adds: "It just won't have Ash. There are more stories to tell." This sounds similar to the 2013 movie from Fede Alvarez, which followed new characters but shared the same universe.
Because the very suggestion of recasting Ash Williams with anyone else is going to have many Evil Dead fans crying foul, I wouldn't count on seeing this coming to fruition anytime soon. Still, truth be told, I can see the resemblance and the reasoning behind the fantasy casting. We'll have to stay tuned to find out more about what's next for the Evil Dead franchise. In the meantime, you can catch Punk in Girl on the Third Floor, now streaming on Netflix. To catch a peek at some of the online fan support from the CM Punk as Ash campaign, you can check out some relevant tweets below.