After two decades of waiting for it, fans rejoiced when word came not long ago that Bruce Campbell would return to the role of Ash from the “Evil Dead” films for a new premium cable “Evil Dead” TV series on Starz.
Ten half-hour episodes are being produced ahead of an airing in late 2015 with Campbell to return as the character, and director Sam Raimi set to helm the pilot and executive produce the series which will continue on from events of the original trilogy.
Today, Campbell has given a lengthy interview to EW and has revealed a bunch of new details about what we can expect. First up, the storyline has Ash living in a trailer park and working a thankless job when a return of the Deadites prompts him to take a road trip with two young co-workers. Asked what finally caused the project to happen, he says:
“We realized if we made another movie, frankly, it would probably be too expensive. But in the format of a TV show, we could give people exactly what they wanted and expand the character and the story even more.
Ash would probably have more dialogue in one season than in three movies. He’ll have to become a more fleshed-out character as well. And we never burned Evil Dead as a franchise out – it’s not like we did 13 of these movies. So we felt like, what the heck, let’s give it a try.
Walking Dead is Walking Dead, but we were kind of first.And I would say it’s about as big of a counterpart to Walking Dead as you could program, because Walking Dead is unrelentingly grim and hugely popular. We’re going to give people a little of the old fashioned splatstick – horror and comedy. The fans have been really good to us over the years. This is an opportunity to do something with full street cred. This is it. Sam’s back. I’m back. [Executive producer Rob Tapert’s] back. Love it or hate it, this will be the real deal.”
So if there’s comedy involved, what does that mean for the film’s tone? From the sounds of it Campbell suggests the film will be more akin to the second movie which mixed horror with comedy rather than the more slapstick action approach of “Army of Darkness”:
“Something we’re doing is taking the horror parts very seriously. We’re not making fun of the horror aspects. And it’s going to cause Ash – this crabby middle-aged man who doesn’t want to get dragged back into this – a lot of problems. He’s not the Ash he used to be…
There’s jokey horror and horror-horror. When there’s a presence in the room, it has to be dealt with because it’s an extremely dangerous and volatile situation. Humor may come out of it, but there’s nothing funny about a demon ripping somebody’s head off. And the beauty of Starz is there’s no content issues. Let’s face it: Fans want the carnage and the mayhem. So we intend to give them quite the explosion of viscera. Most of it directed at me, unfortunately.”
Campbell says Ash remains the ultimate anti-hero, a “trash-talking know-it-all who doesn’t really know anything… a guy with horrible flaws.” He also talked about the two other major roles saying one is a “male-bonding situation” and the other a “father-figure deal”. Asked about using practical vs. CG in the series, he says:
“[CGI] still ain’t cheap, and it takes a long time to do. I have a hunch we’ll do what we’ve always done – a kind of combo platter, which is better for the audience anyway. ‘Army’ had everything from front-screen projection to miniatures to stop-motion to guys in rubber suits. We mixed it all up so people won’t know what’s coming at them.”
He does sing the praise of working on premium cable and how the freedom of it was a big part of getting everyone back onboard:
“We want it to taste exactly like the Evil Dead movies, and I think with the setup with Starz we can do exactly that. We also don’t have to cut to a stupid Dodge commercial. The writers don’t have to create a false cliffhangers [after every act break] because we’re not going to a commercial.”
For the full interview, click here.