Evil Dead Rise, the next installment of the Evil Dead horror movie series, has officially started filming. On Twitter, director Lee Cronin shared the first set photo from the set revealing the slate used for day one of shooting. The movie's title is written in "blood" with a bloody handprint used to dot the 'i' in Rise. Nothing else from the shoot has yet been unveiled, but you can take a look at the first photo from the set below.
Cronin was chosen as the director of Evil Dead Rise last year using a screenplay he also wrote. In May, it was reported that the movie finally got the go ahead to start production at New Line with plans to release exclusively on HBO Max. Alyssa Sutherland and Lily Sullivan were also cast in lead roles, as while the new movie is set in the same universe, it won't feature franchise star Bruce Campbell as Ash; Campbell retired from playing the role after the cancellation of Ash vs. Evil Dead in 2018.
Per Deadline, the movie will follow "two estranged sisters - played by Sutherland (TV's The Mist and Vikings) and Sullivan (Picnic at Hanging Rock, Jungle) - whose reunion is cut short by the rise of flesh-possessing demons, thrusting them into a primal battle for survival as they face the most nightmarish version of family imaginable."
"At its core, Evil Dead is about ordinary people overcoming extraordinarily terrifying situations," Campbell said in a statement when the HBO Max news was announced. "I can't wait for Alyssa and Lily to fill the blood-soaked shoes of those who have come before them and carry on that tradition."
Cronin added: "The Evil Dead movies filled my brain with terror and awe when I first saw them at nine years old. I am excited and humbled to be resurrecting the most iconic of evil forces for both the fans and a whole new generation."
Campbell is still involved with the project as he serves as an executive producer. Original movie writer-director Sam Raimi and Rob Tapert, who executive produced The Evil Dead, are executive producing Evil Dead Rise alongside Campbell. Cronin was hand-picked by Raimi as the next filmmaker to take on The Evil Dead, so given that factor along with the original gang's continued involvement, the new movie is off to a great start.
"I'm thrilled to bring Evil Dead back to its original home at New Line 40 years after the release of the first film," Raimi said. "The company's history as pioneers of horror speaks for itself. I'm equally excited to be working with Lee Cronin, whose gifts as a storyteller make him the ideal filmmaker to continue the enduring legacy of the franchise."
It was reported that filming would start in June 2021 in New Zealand, so it appears the project is right on schedule. A release date hasn't yet been officially set, but the movie will premiere on HBO Max. Meanwhile, an official Evil Dead video game that brings back Ash and other franchise fan favorites is also in the works.