Fans of cult horror films rarely agree on which are their favorites. However, there is one film franchise that tends to unite a huge majority of fans and that is the Evil Dead/Army of Darkness trilogy.
The misadventures of everyone’s favorite bumbling horror-action character, Ashley “Ash” J. Williams (Bruce Campbell), haven’t graced the big screen in 23 years. Hence, anticipation is growing for the new Ash vs Evil Dead cable television show – with Campbell reprising his famous role – though we’ve now learned more about how the show evolved from plans for an Evil Dead 4 movie.
Director and Evil Dead franchise creator Sam Raimi has been on a nationwide promotional tour of screenings for Starz’ upcoming Ash vs. Evil Dead television series. The tour also includes members of the series crew, like Campbell, Jill Marie Jones (Amanda Fisher), Dana DeLorenzo (Kelly Maxwell), Lucy Lawless (Ruby) and Ray Santiago (Pablo Simon Bolivar). Screen Crush, while attending a Q&A that followed one such screening, gained new insight into how the newest Evil Dead project came to be.
According to Raimi, the highly anticipated series was originally planned as the fourth film installment, Evil Dead 4, as was long rumored, but it was dubbed as being ‘too ambitious’. The fourth film was to be co-written by Sam Raimi and his brother Ivan, and the idea was to base the movie on the two different endings to Army of Darkness – in turn, making a Sliding Doors style movie, showing what would happen to Ash in either scenario.
Fans of the Evil Dead film franchise have long been aware that there are two endings to Army of Darkness. The ending that aired in theaters was significantly more cheery than the original ending, which only aired overseas. The American ending featured Ash returning to his timeline and the S-Mart where he worked. Ash battles a witch that managed to find him and comes out looking like a hero, girl on his arm and all – an ending that studio executives demanded for the film’s domestic release.
However, the original international ending for Army of Darkness featured Ash ignoring the instructions he was given, in typically arrogant fashion, and oversleeping to find himself in a dreary apocalyptic future. Fortunately, the original ending was included as a bonus feature from the time that Army of Darkness got a special edition on VHS and onward, so the fans in America were able to enjoy it all these years.
The idea of the fourth film proved to be a little too grand in scale and the idea of keeping it all straight for the viewing audience was just too daunting for the Raimi brothers. Fortunately, we’re going to now get the ongoing Starz television series. Hopefully the cult audience that loves the Evil Dead film franchise will carry over as regular television viewers.
Ash vs. Evil Dead premieres this Halloween, Saturday, October 31st, 2015, on Starz.
Source: Screen Crush