If writer, producer and director Sam Raimi's future schedule seems to be looking a big sparse at the moment, it might have something to do with the fact that he's currently working to fulfil the dreams of horror fans by working on the script for a sequel to his 1992 comedic fantasy-horror Army of Darkness, which could well be his next directing project.
Featuring a great blend of slapstick comedy, an army of deadites and some endlessly quotable one-liners, Army of Darkness was the third film starring Bruce Campbell as Ashley "Ash" J. Williams, and was also the last in the Evil Dead franchise up until this year, when Raimi produced a remake of the original movie in the series, The Evil Dead, which was directed by Fede Alvarez.
Speaking at Wondercon earlier this year, Alvarez confirmed that Raimi is working on Army of Darkness 2, and also revealed that current plans include a seventh film that will take place after Army of Darkness 2 and the rebooted Evil Dead 2, reuniting both the original series and the reboot in a crossover. Obviously, all that will be quite a long way down the line, but ComicBook.com now reports that Campbell has confirmed his decision to return as Ash in Army of Darkness 2.
Speaking at Wizard World Nashville Comic Con, the actor and producer said:
“The last one was 22 years ago. I just haven’t been racing to do it. Sam Raimi is just a little bit busy making the biggest movies in Hollywood. I use to be busy. Now I’m not. That’s why I’m here.
"Ash would have to stop occasionally from chasing some deadite to catch his breath. Maybe we could do that, I guess. That would be exciting. Fight in a walker. That would be all right. Hit them with my cane. Fake them out, have a fake heart attack, distract a zombie. I like it... [Seriously] All right, sir, the answer is yes."
At 55, Campbell is still quite a few years away from having to use a walker, but there are probably a few gags that could be wrought from him being slightly older in Army of Darkness 2.
It's still unclear which of the two conclusions to Army of Darkness (the S-Mart ending or the "slept too long" ending) Raimi will choose to continue the series from, or how Ash's story will intersect with the new timeline from Alvarez's movie, but there could always be a few more time travel elements thrown in to smooth everything over. Ash has already made an appearance in the reboot, albeit very briefly.
Campbell's confirmation that he's ready to reprise his most famous role doesn't necessarily mean that any papers have been signed yet. Based on this most recent interview and Campbell's previous musings on the subject, his attitude seems to be that he's happy to go along for the ride whenever Raimi gets the film into production. After all, if 69-year-old Danny Trejo can still lead an action movie like Machete Kills as a badass hero, then Campbell is definitely fresh enough to do the same.
We'll keep you updated as development on Army of Darkness 2 continues.