The American actor recently confirmed the news exclusively through Empire Magazine’s Heroes Issue.
According to Campbell, the upcoming Evil Dead Now will not be featuring Ash Williams, the main protagonist of the original trilogy, which consisted of 1981’s The Evil Dead, 1987’s Evil Dead II, and 1992’s Army of Darkness.
As for the choice of director, Campbell shared with Empire that Sam Raimi, the director of the first three Evil Dead films, had personally handpicked Lee Cronin, who helmed last year’s horror movie The Hole in the Ground.
To date, the Evil Dead franchise has already produced three movies that feature Campbell as the lead star, a 2013 Evil Dead reboot, and an Ash vs Evil Dead series, also starring Campbell, on the Starz network (which also produces the hit fantasy series, Outlander).
Upon its release, Evil Dead Now should expand upon the horror film’s franchise, but this time around, without the involvement of the fan-favorite Ash character.
This is not totally unprecedented. The 2013 Evil Dead reboot directed by Fede Alvarez (of Don’t Breathe fame) didn’t feature Ash, mainly because of its story, which is both a re-imagining and a continuation of the Evil Dead universe, opted for a female lead, played by Jane Levy.
Will that female lead trend continue with Evil Dead Now? Nothing is certain yet at this point, but it is quite possible.
As noted by the Empire’s exclusive report, it is very likely that the most recent Evil Dead movie will center around a female protagonist.
Campbell does appear to welcome the idea of having other characters carry the story. He told Empire that he is fine with a new story that could stand on its own even without Ash present.
The actor added that the theme of the Evil Dead franchise has always been about regular people, and he expects that to continue with Lee Cronin’s direction.
As mentioned earlier, Sam Raimi reportedly handpicked Lee Cronin to direct Evil Dead Now. Apart from directorial duties, Cronin will also be writing the screenplay for the upcoming full-length horror feature.
The Irish director is no stranger to telling horror stories. As a matter of fact, he won a Melies d’Argent award six years ago for his short film Ghost Train.
The Melies d’Argent annual prize is considered by many as one of Europe’s top awards for horror films. Past movies that bagged the prize include Tomas Alfredson’s Let the Right One In in 2008, which went on to be remade by Hollywood a couple of years later as Let Me In starring Chloe Grace Moretz and Kodi Smit-McPhee and Buried in 2010, which starred Ryan Reynolds.
His feature debut film was last year’s supernatural thriller The Hole in the Ground, which had its global premiere at the 2019 Sundance Film Festival.
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