Fede Alvarez's polished remake of Sam Raimi's classic lo-fi horror movie The Evil Dead proved to be one of the better and more successful horror remakes of recent years upon its release in 2013, and a side effect of that was a galvanization of Raimi's own efforts to produce a follow up to his own trilogy in the form of an Evil Dead TV series.
The development of this series has been moving forward with much more energy than a sequel to Alvarez's film, which doesn't seem to be forthcoming. Raimi dropped the news that an Evil Dead TV show was on the way during this year's San Diego Comic-Con, and actor Bruce Campbell - who played the deadite-killing hero Ash in Raimi's films - revealed that he would be returning to play the lead, assuming that the TV show got picked up.
The time for assumptions is over, as Starz announced today that it has greenlit ten episodes of the TV show - titled Ash Vs. Evil Dead - with Raimi set to write the series and direct the first episode, and Campbell reprising his role as Ash. Robert Tapert, who has produced all of the Evil Dead movies so far, is working alongside Raimi to get the series made. Here's the official synopsis:
Bruce Campbell [returns] as Ash, the stock boy, aging lothario and chainsaw-handed monster hunter who has spent the last 30 years avoiding responsibility, maturity and the terrors of the Evil Dead. When a Deadite plague threatens to destroy all of mankind, Ash is finally forced to face his demons –personal and literal. Destiny, it turns out, has no plans to release the unlikely hero from its “Evil” grip.
In a statement celebrating the continuation of Ash's "lame but heroic saga," Raimi confirmed that the character's iconic weapons will return with him, and that even thirty years later he is still wielding his chainsaw hand and "boomstick." It sounds like he'll need them, as Campbell promises the series will bring some "serious deadite ass-kicking and plenty of outrageous humor."
It's probably advisable to tempter excitement with a little caution, since it's been over two decades since Raimi made Army of Darkness and there's always a risk of material feeling stale after being revived for so long. Then again, a lot of people expected the Evil Dead remake to be terrible and were pleasantly surprised, and the reteaming of Raimi, Tapert and Campbell means that we'll definitely be checking out Ash Vs. Evil Dead when it arrives next year.
Ash Vs. Evil Dead will air on Starz in 2015.