With a remake/reboot of Sam Raimi’s The Evil Dead now in the midst of post-production, fans of the 1983 cult classic are only mere months away from evaluating the director and his star Bruce Campbell’s claims in regards to its quality. As they’ve already demonstrated in interviews, Raimi and Campbell think the world of The Evil Dead brand, and would do anything to protect and preserve it for their loyal fan base. And that’s just what they’ve been doing – not with their work on the remake, but in court.
Over the last year, Raimi’s Renaissance Pictures (which includes Campbell and producer Robert Tapert) have been fighting to squash an unauthorized Evil Dead sequel over at Award Pictures. The film, titled Evil Dead 4: Consequences, purports to be a direct follow-up to Raimi’s trilogy, but Award never acquired the rights to the property.
The company, however, is asserting that due to a lack of action, Raimi has proven he is uninterested in revitalizing the Evil Dead franchise. This claim was brought about as a result of an interview with Raimi in which he revealed he we wasn’t likely to direct another Evil Dead film. Award took this to be an “abandonment of the trademark” and stepped in to finance a sequel (albeit an unofficial one) on their own.
However, Raimi wasn’t about to abandon Evil Dead, nor was he going to allow another production company to film a sequel to his series, especially with a remake in the works. Renaissance Pictures then took Award Pictures to court, and after a stunted series of proceedings an injunction was filed against Evil Dead 4: Consequences. This prevents the film, for the time being, from progressing any further in production.
Award’s Glenn MacCrae vows to contest the lawsuit, but the longer he waits the less solid ground he will have to work from. Once the Raimi and Campbell-produced remake of The Evil Dead – which is said to be a completely new take on the property – is released, MacCrae will have a hard time arguing Raimi was neglecting his trademark.
More importantly, this win gives Raimi the option of directing an Evil Dead 4, (hopefully not subtitled ‘Consequences’) if he so chooses. The decision to make the forthcoming film a remake rather than a sequel suggested Raimi was considering helming a follow-up himself, but his flippant nature regarding the series leads us to believe that won’t be happening any time soon.
Source: The Hollywood Reporter