After the success of the Evil Dead remake in 2013, and back before Ash vs. Evil Dead was all the rage, Sam Raimi and Bruce Campbell had teased fans that more franchise films were in the works—3 actually. The first would be a direct sequel to Fede Alvarez’s remake, to be titled Evil Dead 2. Next, Raimi/Campbell said fans could then look forward to an Army of Darkness sequel (aka Evil Dead 4). The third film was to marry both franchises into a single cohesive timeline.
Obviously, these grand plans were dashed in favor of producing a TV series; the success of Ash vs. Evil Dead on STARZ proves it was a wise gamble. Still, hardcore Evil Dead fans (myself included) were disappointed in the franchise’s change in direction.
But is Evil Dead 4 really dead—or will it rise from hell like a vengeful deadite? Franchise executive producer Rob Tapert gave fans reason to keep hope alive during a panel at Comic-Con last week:
“Nothing’s off the table. We’re thinking about what that could be, and who that would please. Sam [Raimi] talked for many years, teasing the world that we were going to make Evil Dead 4. And that kind of turned into a TV series. Now Bruce [Campbell] and I are going, ‘Well, there’s a possibility of a movie here.’”
In the original Evil Dead (1981): Five friends travel to a cabin in the woods, where they unknowingly release flesh-possessing demons.
In Army of Darkness (1992): Ash is accidentally transported to 1300 A.D., where he must battle an army of the dead and retrieve the Necronomicon so he can return home.
In Ash vs. Evil Dead: Ash has spent the last 30 years avoiding responsibility, maturity and the terrors of the Evil Dead until a Deadite plague threatens to destroy all of mankind and Ash becomes mankind’s only hope.
At Comic-Con, Tapert also revealed that Season 2 of Ash vs. Evil Dead would include aspects of Army of Darkness:
“So, Army of Darkness is owned by MGM, and we just never had a chance to properly reference it in the first season,” Tapert explained. “This season, we do bring up Ash’s events in Army of Darkness, and reference it. It was more that there wasn’t a place for it in our storytelling that we needed to talk about that. If he started blabbing to these shop clerks about, ‘Yeah, I went back to the Middle Ages and did all these things,’ [it would just be exposition]. But that is in his memory bank, and he’s going to pull it out at the appropriate time.”