Last year’s premiere of Ash Vs Evil Dead on Starz came after years of discussion about the possibility of an Evil Dead 4. The film series, which started as a nearly no-budget indie in 1981, included one sequel that was a slightly bigger budgeted remake called Evil Dead IIin 1987, and then the ultimate third chapter called Army of Darkness, which was made with actually Hollywood money, in 1992. For the two decades after that though, it seemed the further adventures of Ash Williams, the series grandiose hero played by Bruce Campbell, were firmly stuck in development hell, but now, director Sam Raimi has shed some light on why, and before you ask it was more a problem with him than anything else. (more…)
With Fede Alvarez’s Evil Dead remake fast approaching its release date, everyone ever involved with the franchise is getting harassed by fans and media who want to know more. Well, we happen to have heard a rumor or two and it looks like there could be plenty more in the future. First and foremost, Alvarez is all set to continue the story that he’s developed. Secondly, it looks like Sam Raimi, if he ever continues his own version, will be aiming at continuing Army of Darkness as opposed to the classic Evil Dead storyline.
It’s one thing when a site like ours reports on an upcoming film based on fifth-hand rumor and wishful thinking–when the word comes down that such news is pure moonshine, we have no one but ourselves to blame.
HOWEVER, when a filmmaker is directly quoted saying work is about to begin on a long-awaited sequel to the popular franchise he created, it’s perfectly reasonable for us (and our colleagues) to report on it as credible news….And perhaps I speak only for myself, but seeing this same director backpedal when asked further questions regarding the film he just told everyone he was making is more than a little annoying.
Take a look at Raimi’s attempt at retconning his own assertion:
“Those guys made me say that. I am thinking about it but a crowd goes ‘Come on Sam, do it!”’ so I said ‘Okay, I guess I was talking to my brother about it’ But I feel like I was pushed into saying that, a little bit. In the hallway today I joked with Ivan ‘Get working on that script!’ but I really don’t know. I’m afraid that every time I talk about it people get really mad at me when I don’t follow through with it. I would like to work on the script over the summer, that much is true. But the reason to come back and do it again is only that they’re making me, those fans. I was saying to Ivan ‘Why do they stay on this thing? Why do they keep at it?’ and he said ‘They want to make a movie. You’re a filmmaker and your fans are asking you to make the movie. What are you, an idiot? Make the movie!’ I guess there’s something I don’t see. It makes sense when Ivan says it… but I didn’t have a tremendous amount of passion until right now to bring to it. I love working with Bruce Campbell and Rob Tapert, I have so much fun making those movies, so… but the fans are really forcing me into it.”
“FORCING” you, Sam? Were they armed? Explain to me how you just didn’t have the heart to disappoint your fans by admitting there are no plans to begin work on Evil Dead 4….but you were perfectly comfortable with jerking their collective chain (and making fansite journalists look like idiots) with a load of pure bullshit?
Folks say things they wish they could take back every day–nobody’s perfect…and I can understand how, in the moment, with so many people egging him on, Raimi could let something like that slip.
BUT, when he was called on it–the decent, mature thing to do would have been to admit the mistake and apologize: Not BLAME YOUR OWN FANS for your fuck-up. 🙁
Generally, once a franchise is rebooted and started over by an entirely different director, working with a new cast, new writers, and often a vastly different story line, it’s safe to abandon all hope for further installments in the original series–for better or worse.
No one would have expected a fifth Batman movie in the Burton/Schumacher continuity after Chris Nolan came out with Batman Begins, for example.
I suppose the lesson here is “Never Say Never”, because if Sam Raimi’s words to a London audience during a showing of Oz: The Great and Powerful, as reported by Bleeding Cool, are to be believed, we may very well have a fourth RaimiEvil Dead flick in our future.
The director’s exact words were apparently:
“I would love to make Evil Dead 4. My brother and I plan to work on the script this summer.”
I don’t need to point out that what Raimi would “love” to do, and what will actually happen are not in the least guaranteed to be the same thing, but we can still hope for the best.
I do have to say that the decision to continue the franchise seems odd given how much both Raimi and Bruce Campbell (who has not been confirmed as returning for this proposed sequel) have praised Fede Alvarez’s new vision of the original Evil Dead. One would think that if Raimi was satisfied with Alvarez’s work, then he’d be content to let the franchise pass into his hands.
No information about casting, production, or release dates is, as yet, available.
The Evil Dead reboot is on the way and Sam Raimi is sitting in the production chair, making sure that everything comes out fine in the end. This means that he’s ok with the new film and supportive of the efforts to remake one of his classics. One thing Raimi is not ok with is another production company looking to make Evil Dead 4 without his permission.
The proposed fourth installment of the franchise is being put together by Award Pictures and is titled Evil Dead 4: Consequences. It has connections to neither the original creators nor cult-icon Bruce Campbell. Just those simple facts make the likelihood of it succeeding pretty much impossible. But Raimi and his company, Renaissance Pictures, want to make sure that it never even gets made.
So how do the big-wigs at Award Pictures justify this blatant ripping of someone else’s creative property? Well, apparently Raimi made a statement around 12 years ago that went something like this:
“We’re never going to do a sequel.”
And the lawyers at Award are saying that those words really mean this:
“This statement is a public declaration by the defendant that the defendant abandoned the alleged ‘mark,’ Evil Dead, decades ago,”
Wtf? Seriously, just because Raimi didn’t want to do any more sequels, he loses his rights? What about all the other Evil Dead crap that still hits market? What about the video games and toys and, well, the bloody reboot?
It all sounds like a bunch of legal-loophole crap to me, and hopefully those who get to make the final decision in the matter will see it much the same. Although with the back-asswards legal system inAmerica, you never know if these wankers will come out on top.
And now, moving on to a subject that has no legal issues surrounding it – the Evil Dead reboot is officially shooting. The latest word is that principal photography has begun and is expected to be completed sometime in July.
The new film is said to be pretty much the same thing as the original, though with a more realistic angle. They’ve even gone so far as to bring on relatively unknown actors, despite the fact that there is probably a small horde of well-known actors who would give their right hand to get a piece of this cult action.
For those that haven’t seen the original (poor bastards), it’s basically a story about five people stuck in a cabin in the woods (not to be confused with the recent Joss Whedon film) that unlock an ancient evil, get possessed by demons and start killing each other.
It sounds like pretty basic horror stuff, but it was Raimi’s “unique” style that turned the film into the cult classic that it is today and spawned two sequels (not three). Raimi and Campbell are onboard with the sequel in a production capacity, lending their hands and heads to make sure it doesn’t turn out like crap, so hopefully the new version will be something to look forward to.
The Evil Dead reboot is expected to hit theaters April 12 of next year.
Damn, this internet age moves mighty quickly. Only this morning we were hearing solid rumors of Sam Raimi‘s longtime editor, Bob Murawski heading to Detriot to begin work on Evil Dead 4. Now the little birds are whispering Federico Alvarez, a short film director most known for 2009’s Panic Attack!, has been tapped as director.
Judging by Alvarez’s experience with low budget films that pack a lot of punch he sounds like he’ll fit perfectly in the Evil Dead franchise. Particularly since this film is also rumored to be made with a smaller budget and more in step with the first two Dead films.
Sadly, no official word yet if Bruce Campbell will either be reprising his role or involved in the project in some other way. Chances are though, he will. I mean seriously, Evil Dead without Bruce?! That’s blasphemous. Keep up with Bruce on Twitter where he has been dropping hints he knows more about this Evil Dead sequel than he’s letting on.
Also, everyone do your homework and check our Alvarez’ short film, Panic Attack! below in order to get some perspective on what he could bring to the franchise.