Bruce Campbell says Ash vs. Evil Dead will take on a bit of a different tone and storytelling approach in season 3. Twenty-one years after Army of Darkness, the last chapter in the original Evil Dead movie trilogy, fans finally got their wish with the return of the chainsaw-handed, boomstick-slinging anti-hero Ashley J. "Ash" Williams (Campbell) in Ash vs. Evil Dead, an episodic series that premiered on STARZ on 2015.
Before the first season even started, STARZ committed to season 2, which gave the Evil Dead faithful all the gore and hilarity that they experienced in the original Evil Dead films. Taking on a pair of novices named Kelli (Dana De Lorenzo) and Pablo (Ray Santiago) to battle newly-unleashed Deadites - as well as a new nemesis, Ruby (Lucy Lawless) - Ash vs. Evil Dead has unfolded in a sprawling narrative of 20 episodes that's about to take a slight change of direction, during the show's upcoming third season.
Talking with Screen Rant, Campbell pointed out how season 3 will be different from the first two:
Screen Rant: Did you find it tough to maintain the tone in season given that the show is going in a new direction of sorts? The tone is everything with this series.
Bruce Campbell: “The tone means a lot and we’re pretty conscious of that. (Up to this point) we were trying to do at least a 50-50 mixture of humor and horror, but season 3 we’re kind of doing a 30-30-30 – it’s horror, humor and the great over-arching story. What is Ash’s arc, his life? So, we’re getting into that and he’s got some new people that he’s going to bring in and work with in season 3. Some like-minded people who are going to attempt to help him on his journey – I say ‘attempt.’”
The journey he talks of is more of a hero’s journey, a la legendary author Joseph Campbell (no relation to Bruce). Bruce Campbell says:
“We’re exploring the myth more about Ash being the chosen one. We’re doing a little more of the old Joseph Campbell thing. Why him? What’s the dealio with the schmeilio?”
While Ash vs. Evil Dead promises raise the stakes for the square-jawed Deadite-slayer, don't expect the series to get all serious in season 3. Clearly the episodes will still be rooted in humor and horror, yet you have to commend Campbell and his fellow Ash vs. Evil Dead creatives Sam Raimi and Rob Tapert for their efforts to give fans an expanding mythology for Ash in relation to that pesky Necronomicon. With any luck, the reconfigured storytelling approach will give enough push for a fourth season of more Ash adventures.
Campbell says he could not discuss when season 3 would be premiering. In the meantime, fans can get stories about the making of Ash vs. Evil Dead and other slices of the actor's life in the past 15 years in his new book, Hail to the Chin: Further Confessions of a B-Movie Actor, which was released this week. Season 2 of Ash vs. Evil Dead will be released on Blu-ray on August 22.