Evil Dead Rise, the latest and highly acclaimed installment in the Evil Dead franchise, made a significant impact in theaters in April. Bruce Campbell, the original star and now producer of the franchise, recently reflected on the film’s reception among audiences and fans. Alongside fellow producers Robert Tapert and Sam Raimi, Campbell has contributed to a franchise that began in 1982, continually captivating both new and long-time fans.
The series, which introduced the iconic Book of the Dead, has evolved significantly since its inception. Campbell, known for his role as the Deadite-fighting Ash Williams in three movies and the popular TV show Ash vs. Evil Dead, has retired from the live-action portrayal of the character. However, the franchise has continued to thrive, with the 2013 soft reboot Evil Dead and the standalone movie Evil Dead Rise, the latter becoming the highest-grossing in the series, making US$146 million.
In a Collider interview, Campbell expressed his happiness with the film’s success. He revealed that he, Raimi, and Tapert plan to release new Evil Dead movies more frequently, a promising update for fans. This decision comes after the remarkable success of Evil Dead Rise, indicating a renewed and consistent interest in the franchise.
“We’re going to do them probably more like every two to three years now, rather than every 10 years. But, hey, we’ve seen with Star Wars — you don’t want to wear people out. Keep them guessing! We never wore out our welcome with Evil Dead because we never choked them.”
Campbell emphasised the importance of maintaining a balance between satisfying fans and avoiding franchise fatigue. He believes in delivering quality without overwhelming the audience, a challenge some franchises have struggled with recently.
Looking beyond Rise, there are several potential directions for the Evil Dead series. Campbell has hinted at an animated continuation of Ash vs. Evil Dead, with Raimi and Tapert involved, where he will voice Ash. He also didn’t rule out a return to live-action if Raimi directs.
Additionally, Campbell praised Evil Dead Rise director Lee Cronin, although he expressed concerns that Cronin’s success might make him unavailable for future projects.
Evil Dead Rise is now streaming on HBO.