As San Diego Comic-Con has steadily grown into the massive pop culture event it is today, we've come to expect a large amount of blockbuster announcements to be made at the annual gathering of genre fans and content creators. However, it would be disingenuous to suggest that anybody saw the following revelation coming: during today's Screen Gems panel at SDCC 2014, Sam Raimi - ostensibly there to discuss the upcoming film adaptation of The Last of Us - dropped a bombshell on the audience: the Evil Dead franchise is coming to television. In a word, groovy.
Unfortunately, as exciting as that prospect is, Raimi failed to offer any further details beyond the fact that an Evil Dead show is being developed by himself, his brother Ivan, and genre icon Bruce Campbell. There are obviously a lot of ways this project could go, most of which would depend on how those aforementioned missing details shake out. Considering the incredibly gory (albeit sometimes comical) nature of the Evil Dead films, cable would seem to be the most logical destination for the series. It's hard to imagine a broadcast network allowing bodily dismemberment via chainsaw to appear on its airwaves. Then again, Hannibal is on NBC.
That said, if cable is the most likely venue for the series, the next question becomes just what will a potential Evil Dead show actually be about? Will the Raimis and Campbell attempt to fit the series into the continuity of the original trilogy somehow? Will Ash be a featured character, and if so will the 56-year-old Campbell dust off his old wardrobe and boomstick? Would an Ash-centered story take place before or after Army of Darkness? The possibilities are endless.
Of course, Sam, Ivan and Bruce may instead choose to steer completely away from Ash's adventures. It's very possible that an Evil Dead TV series might include the characters from the 2013 Fede Alvaraez-directed remake/spin-off, and attempt to continue or expand upon their story. It's been suggested that the remake was actually meant to tie into the original continuity, but it's never been revealed exactly how. Could the small-screen play host to a storyline that was originally planned for the oft-discussed sequel to the remake? There's no reason it couldn't.
Then again, the Raimis and Campbell could opt to surprise everyone and go in a completely different direction entirely. It's not at all out of the realm of possibility that fans will be presented with a completely original story (featuring completely original characters) that just happens to take place in the Evil Dead universe. This idea would allow the TV series to operate outside of the films as a separate entity, leaving the door open in case Sam and Bruce ever actually get around to making Evil Dead 4 and/or Army of Darkness 2.
Whichever creative road the minds behind Evil Dead end up taking, it's a near certainty that fans will head into the premiere with high hopes, yearning for another chance to hail to the king. Here's hoping that the franchise - and Ash's chainsaw - hasn't yet run out of gas.
The Evil Dead TV series is currently in (early) development.
Source: Sam Raimi