Bruce Campbell is laying Ash to rest. The chainsaw-wielding protagonist of the camp-horror classic The Evil Dead has been battling the forces of evil for nearly 40 years, but Campbell may soon be hanging up his chainsaw hand. But others will be there to take his place, as Campbell promises the Evil Dead franchise will live on past Ash Williams.
In an interview with the Inqusitir, Bruce Campbell revealed that, despite the cancellation of Ash vs. Evil Dead, the Evil Dead franchise is still very much alive. More stories in the Evil Dead franchise are in development, Campbell teased, but probably without his iconic character Ash Williams:
“I’m still doing video games, I’m doing voices for Ash. I’m just not going to grovel in the blood anymore…They’re going to see different versions, they’re going to be seeing more Evil Dead, too. We’re not done with the Evil Dead saga, more stories to tell.”
Campbell danced around the idea of his retirement as Ash Williams onscreen, though he didn’t explicitly confirm it, instead saying, “I’m retiring from certain types of roles, ones that require looking at tennis balls on sticks.” This likely refers to the action sequences he’s required to do as Ash, though the “tennis balls on sticks” comment seems out of place considering the emphasis on practical effects the Evil Dead franchise has long had.
But without Campbell anchoring the franchise, what will become of Evil Dead? Campbell has appeared in every Evil Dead title apart from the 2013 reboot directed by Fede Álvarez and produced by franchise creator Sam Raimi, and has become the chainsaw-wielding face of the series. Hell, most of the marketing for Ash vs. Evil Dead was just close-ups of his maniacal, blood-covered face. But the future of Evil Dead could be in video games, like Campbell hinted at, or in reboots, remakes, or a new TV series. There’s no format that the Evil Dead franchise hasn’t seen — there was even an Evil Dead stage musical at one point. The forces of evil will always need someone to hack off its limbs with a chainsaw, and I’m sure plenty of people will be happy to step into Ash’s bloodstained shoes.
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