When Ash vs Evil Dead premiered on Starz last year, many franchise fans were very excited, but some were also quite skeptical. After all, could Sam Raimi and the rest of the AvED team recapture the spirit of the Evil Dead movies after an over 20-year hiatus? And even if they could, would a pushing 60-years-old Campbell be up to the task of once again donning his trademark chainsaw hand and dismembering Deadites with reckless abandon? Thankfully, the answer to that question turned out to be a resounding yes.
Ash vs Evil Dead season 1 was a hit with both critics and fans, which must have pleased Starz, since the network had already taken the odd step of renewing the series for season 2 before the first episode had even aired. This past weekend, AvED's season 2 premiere arrived, and has so far been met by another round of praise from both reviewers and audiences. While it's too soon to tell if Ash vs Evil Dead will get a season 3 renewal, it's fair to say that those behind the show must be loving life right now.
Of course, perhaps the person most pleased with AvED's success is Campbell himself, and understandably so. While the man has never suffered from a lack of work in the decades since Army of Darkness, Ash Williams is and will probably forever be the character that defines Campbell's career. At times over the years, this fact has seemed to annoy him, such as at convention appearances when people's first question was almost invariably whether an Evil Dead 4 would ever be made.
Still, now that he's slipped back into his signature role, Campbell is having tons of fun. In fact, "The Chin" is getting so much satisfaction out of reviving Ash, that he recently told Comic Book that he'd like to continue doing it for at least three more years:
"I’ll take five seasons of this. Give the fans a big boost of the material; they’ll have 25 fresh hours of the show after this, after we’re done [with five seasons], and that’s like making 12 movies!"
As to why he gets so much enjoyment out of playing Ash, Campbell offered the following sentiments, managing to take a mild shot at the ongoing superhero craze in the process:
"I’m delighted with Ash. He’s officially the best character that I’ve ever played, and it’s one that I’m going to investigate and explore until they tell me I can’t do it anymore. I find Ash, with all of his flaws, all his foibles, all his mistakes, so wonderfully human that it’s hard for me to relate to super hero movies.”
While Campbell has become well known for projecting a public image full of snarky cynicism - which actually just seems to make his fans love him even more - the actor's above statements truly make it seem like he's creatively rejuvenated and engaged in a way he might not have been in a long time. For those who've been been following his prolific career since the days of the original Evil Dead film, it has to be quite heartening to see Campbell finally back on top of the pop culture world.
Ash vs Evil Dead season 2 airs Sundays at 8pm on Starz.
Source: Comic Book