Ash vs. Evil Dead is well on its way with the pilot episode all set to air on Halloween, but Starz is ramping up the anticipation by giving fans a look at the first four minutes of the new series. The tease features Bruce Campbell in all his comedic glory as he reprises his role as Ashley J. Williams from the original Evil Dead films.
Army of Darkness concluded the Evil Dead trilogy in 1992, but, as Bruce Campbell tells Rolling Stone, fans weren’t satisfied and have been desperate for a new Evil Dead film ever since. Campbell says he’s always been surprised by the success of the first Evil Dead film because it received such poor backing and forced writer/director Sam Raimi to seek out financing from public businesses.
“It wasn’t even an indie darling,” the Ash vs. Evil Dead actor reveals. “It clawed its way from nowhere to where it is today, which is still a mom-and-pop operation. We’re just glad that, after all this hard work, people want more.”
Looking back on the franchise’s success, Bruce reveals that there’s no limit to the imagination of fans eager to show their support and love for The Evil Dead. While attending horror conventions, Campbell reveals that he has autographed over 50 chainsaws and countless shotguns. However, he adds that the items have to be rendered inoperable before being permitted to enter convention property.
“I saw an Iraq war veteran who had the entire poster of Army of Darkness [tattooed] on his back in color,” Campbell says. “It must have taken 40-plus hours.”
There’s no doubt that fans take their devotion to The Evil Dead and their love for Bruce Campbell seriously, but the star of that original trilogy reports fans were dissatisfied with the 2013 reboot of The Evil Dead. It lacked the vital ingredient: Campbell himself.
When Sam Raimi and Mr. Campbell came together to give the fans what they were looking for, Bruce says the first plan was to bring a new Evil Dead film to theaters, as Screen Crush reports. After some discussion, the idea of a television series seemed that much more appealing, and by aligning with Starz, a premium cable network, the Ash vs Evil Dead team were able to present the series with all of the gore, blood, and sexuality fans expect.
Mr. Campbell warns fans not to expect too much maturity from Ash in the new Evil Dead series or any kind of updated, rebooted character evolution.
“This guy’s going to save the world,” Campbell says, laughing. “This guy wasn’t qualified 25 years ago when we did Army of Darkness. What makes you think he’s going to be qualified now?”
Campbell also reveals that Ash vs Evil Dead has shown him just how out of shape and old he has gotten since the first Evil Dead film, confessing that Bengay, Icy Hot, hot rubs, and hot baths have kept him limber enough to get through the shooting schedule. It seems the first four minutes of Ash vs Evil Dead reveals a similar problem for Ash.
There’s much to look forward to for fans of the Evil Dead franchise and for newcomers to Ash vs. Evil Dead, says Campbell. The Ash vs. Evil Dead actor reveals that, as a hero, Ash is wholly unlikable. Bruce reveals that Ash is a bad employee (and still a stock boy at S-Mart), a bad boyfriend, and just a bad person overall, but isn’t that what has made Ash Williams so endearing to fans?
[Image via Starz/Ash vs Evil Dead]