We’ve all known for awhile now that Starz’Ash Vs. Evil Dead‘ was in the works but for the most part until today we’ve only known the barest of details. Yes we’ll see Bruce Campbell return as an aging Ash who has once again been forced into saving the world from Deadites and know that he has recruited some friends to help him with the task. Past that though? Aside from casing news such as Lucy Lawless being attached to the ten episode series, we’ve really been pretty light on news.
With the chance to finally seeing Campbell reprise his role as Ash I know that many of you are both as excited and worried as I am. Can they capture the magic again after all this time? Will Ash still be the King that he once was?
With the three masterminds of the series have all been trapped in one place together and forced to answer a few questions on what we’ll be seeing on screen some of that gets hinted at below.
First up when asked about the tone of the show if it will be an attempt at seriousness or humor Raimi answers that:
“We have elements of the Evil dead films, which have always — like you say — had very hard-edged, intense horror designed to really frighten the audience. And no holds barred there. Starz has really taken the reins off of us and allowed us to go to town and thrill the audience, chill them, and scare the heck out of them. But also, as you mentioned, there is a comedic element that is alive in this, and it’s the thing we found the audience has always liked the most about the Evil Dead movies. More and more, we seem to realize the thing that made them different was Bruce Campbell. And, more and more, we brought him to the forefront of the pictures.
First, he was just the guy that happened to star in the movie because he was the last survivor — and our best friend and the only actor I ever worked with. But then, we started to realize, gee, the audience really likes this guy, and he’s the thing that actually makes it special.”
More interesting though is that things aren’t going to be quite what they seem for your standard fans of the franchise. When asked if this would take place in the same universe as the ‘Army of Darkness’ and ‘Evil Dead’ that we know and love Tapert says that:
“The answer to that question is it doesn’t really exist in the exact same universe. It’s a slightly altered universe. It takes place somewhere in an alternate universe after Evil Dead 2. That might seem like a confusing answer, but that’s the — I don’t want to spoil too much for the audience, but that’s the truest answer I can give you … We would be seeing similar locations, meaning it lives in a modern-day world with Ash battling evil in this era, the modern day. Ash went through that experience [of Army of Darkness], but we’re not really referencing it in terms of we’re not referencing specifics from that but he certainly has that in his memory.”
Where Raimi added that:
“We kind of want to take a politician’s stance on that. We neither want to deny nor confirm that. We want the audience to be open with no previous expectations coming into the show. We want them to have seen one or all of the Evil Deads and be completely up to date on everything they need to know. So we really kind of designed it to live outside to having to have seen any of the movies.”
For fans of the Deadites you may wonder if they’ve evolved after all this time. Tapert chimes in with:
“We certainly will play to what we once did with Deadites, even through the remake, but we’re trying to expand the universe so the storytelling over the first 10 episodes … we will encounter Deadites which are very different than other forces of evil out there. And then we will take the audience — we’ll expose the audience to new entities that were not yet presented in the Evil Dead universe, so that the audience is surprised.”
While Campbell throws out:
“I would add that, because you’re doing a TV show now, and not a feature film, you actually have to structure everything differently. You have to structure the storytelling differently, and you have to create a much larger world, because the demands of the audience are much — it’s every week you’re now entertaining them. So you have to have a multiplicity of stories and angles and tangents. So it’s going to be a much bigger story.
We will encounter Deadites [but] expose the audience to new entities that were not yet presented in the Evil Dead universe.We will encounter Deadites [but] expose the audience to new entities that were not yet presented in the Evil Dead universe.”
So yes, we’re getting new forms of the Evil Dead ladies and gentlemen! Now onto the Chosen One! One has to wonder if Ash is just insane at this point from all of the madness that he’s gone through. I’m almost sure Bruce laughed when he responded with:
“What makes you think he’s not? He is a basket case. We’re going to find, you know, Ash is potentially damaged goods, and God forbid, this is our hero — which is what really appeals to me, personally, as an actor. You know, you have a lead guy who in Army of Darkness was responsible for the deaths of hundreds of people because he couldn’t remember three words.”
Where Tapert added:
“Yes, he’s no finer or nobler or saner of a character than when we last saw him. In fact, if anything, I think he’s digressed. He’s certainly aged quite a bit. And his courage hasn’t been whipped up to a frenzy, let’s put it that way. He’s kind of sunk into some of his lowest — all of our lowest instincts, and that’s where we find him. And it’s from that low point that I think our hero will have to be born. That’s the start of our show.”
So if Ash has moved on with his life over the past couple of decades what have his nemesis been up to? Raimi clues us in on that as well!
“The Deadites have been fairly dormant over the last 20 to 30 years. And Ash has been kind of living a low life hiding out. And our story really begins when they come back and someone is needed to stand up against them.”
Oh, and “of course” it is Ash’s fault that they come back.
Now with season long story arc’s being all of the rage right now what can we expect from ‘Ash Vs. Evil Dead’?
According to Tapert:
“You know, it is a serialized storytelling, since it’s on premium cable, so there’s an overarching plot. But each episode is still a self-contained story. The characters, themselves, are on a bigger journey, and therefore those who turn in every week will be rewarded, but the casual viewer can come in and out and kind of get what’s going on. It’s not as dense as other storytellings.”
You can read the full interview over at Blastr that answers even more questions about the series!