Many Evil Dead fans (as they'll be happy to attest) were perfectly content to let the remake stay dead in the water. However, over the past year, the project managed to come together under the guiding hand(s) of franchise staples Sam Raimi and Bruce Campbell, who are producing this new take on their breakout cult 1981 horror collaboration.
Fede Alvarez (the short film "Panic Attack!") has officially commenced with principal photography on the Evil Dead remake, according to a new press release from SPWA/Film District. The estimated $14 million shoot will take place in New Zealand and is expected to wrap up by the beginning of July (about two months, from the time of writing this).
Similar to Raimi's original, the new Evil Dead features a primary cast of little-known or no-name stars, including Jane Levy (Shameless), Shiloh Fernandez (Red Riding Hood), Jessica Lucas (Edgemont), Lou Taylor Pucci (Carriers) and Elizabeth Blackmore (Legend of the Seeker). It has also been confirmed that Campbell will be making a cameo appearance, at some point.
The official synopsis for the Evil Dead remake reveals that the plot still involves five young adult friends who head out to a remote cabin in the forest "where they discover a Book Of The Dead and unwittingly summon up dormant demons in the nearby woods" However, it does not confirm the inclusion of drug addiction and family death subplots, which have long been reported as part of the script.
Speaking of which: the screenplay for the Evil Dead remake was co-penned by Alvarez and his "Panic Attack!" collaborator Rodo Sayagues Mendez (based on Raimi's original script). Diablo Cody is also credited for polishing off the script, which she previously described as "unbelievably violent" - and promised will have a timeless feel, which means none of the pop-culture references and cutesy dialogue that Cody became (in)famous for after writing Juno and Jennifer's Body.
That creative decision - to make the Evil Dead remake more of a grounded and grisly supernatural horror film - has prompted much finger-wagging from fans, who point to the over-the-top nature of Raimi's original movie as being pivotal to its success. Still, playing things more straight seems like the only way for this remake to possibly work - in the aftermath of the satirical horror/comedy Cabin in the Woods, that is.
The Evil Dead is scheduled to hit theaters in the U.S. on April 12th, 2013.