If the Evil Dead franchise wants to rise again, they’ll have to find the right tone to go with Ash vs Evil Dead…
The 2013 remake of Evil Dead was quite significant, not only for bringing back a franchise, which filmmaker Sam Raimi hadn’t explored since his 1992 movie Army of Darkness, but also because it introduced much of the world to Uruguay-born director Fede Alvarez.
Alvarez’s second feature, the unsettling home invasion thriller Don’t Breathe, will open in the next month, but since Sam Raimi and Bruce Campbell have brought back the popular character of “Ash” Williams for their hit Starz television series Ash vs. Evil Dead, many fans have wondered whether we might ever see a direct sequel to Alvarez’s film.
Much of the talk at San Diego Comic-Con this past weekend was about the upcoming second season of Ash vs. Evil Dead, but since Den of Geek US had a chance to talk to Alvarez himself, we decided to ask him if he’d still been thinking or talking about doing an Evil Dead 2 with Jane Levy’s character.
“I’m really good friends with Sam (Raimi) and Rob (Tappert) and Bruce (Campbell) – we always chat and we really became friends after Evil Dead, so casually, the conversation always comes and goes: ‘like what about that Evil Dead 2?’ is a question we always throw around,” he told us.
“My pitch for it was ‘let’s combine the two worlds and have Jane from my film being fighting demons back-to-back with Bruce’ and trying to tell that story, but the tone is the key. What would be the tone? Because Bruce represents a more slapstick ‘Evil Dead’ from Evil Dead 2, and my film is more faithful to the first Evil Dead where they weren’t trying to be funny at any level, though some people believe they were. I know them pretty well, and they weren’t trying to be funny at any level, they were just being over-the-top. Trying to find a tone is key to that movie. Now that Bruce is back in a way – because suddenly, his show is going to a third season and people know about him and the newer generation knows why he’s so cool and he’s the character that he is – now might be the time to try that.”
“That’s what I love about Evil Dead – every movie is completely different from the previous one,” he also said in regards to finding the right tone.
“You never know what to expect. With franchises, usually the whole idea is that you go to see them because you exactly what to expect. In general, that’s the concept of a franchise, to give the audience what they want again – bigger and better – but Evil Dead has never done that. Evil Dead 2 innovates so much over Evil Dead 1. Sam was so accomplished by the time he makes Evil Dead 2 but the differences are so big, but then Army Of Darkness is a completely different kind of movie. We knew that my movie had to be exactly what you weren’t expecting by going back to the origins of what the franchise was, so now we’re going into uncharted waters in a way. What are you going to do next that is original and fresh and is not just another Evil Dead and is not just a movie version of the show – cause you can’t do that either. Maybe some people would like to do that but I would never do that. You have to give them something they would never see coming.”
“It’s really not up to me,” he concluded. “I’d be completely game to figure something out with them, and it’s always a conversation. We haven’t closed that door at all.”
In the meantime, Alvarez and his Don’t Breathe writing partner Rodo Sayagues are starting to work on a screenplay for Monsterpocalypse, an adaptation of the comic book for Warner Bros, which Tim Burton was going to do at one point. “It’s kind of Apocalypse Now in the monster world,” he told us about that project. They’re also working on three different television shows, which hopefully will be announced soon.