Actor/producer Bruce Campbell, set to reprise his famous role from Sam Raimi’s ‘Evil Dead’ trilogy in TV’s ‘Ash Vs The Evil Dead,’ promises the 2015 series will be “about as big of a counterpart to ‘Walking Dead’ as you could program.”
Campbell made his remarks in an interview with Entertainment Weekly, from which brief snippets were released online this past weekend. Now the interview is available in its entirety, and sees the veteran horror star reveal a great deal more about the future TV show.
Given that ‘The Walking Dead’ has become the first long-running TV series to feature zombies, it’s inevitable that Campbell would want to compare and contrast that show with ‘Ash Vs The Evil Dead’ (though, of course, there’s always a bit of a debate as to whether we can really class the Deadites of ‘The Evil Dead’ as zombies - but let’s not get into that right now).
Campbell tells EW, “‘Walking Dead’ is ‘Walking Dead,’ but we were kind of first. And I would say it’s about as big of a counterpart to ‘Walking Dead’ as you could program, because ‘Walking Dead’ is unrelentingly grim and hugely popular. We’re going to give people a little of the old fashioned splatstick —horror and comedy.”
The decision to continue Ash’s storyline - following on 1980’s ‘The Evil Dead,’ 1987’s ‘Evil Dead II’ and 1992’s ‘Army of Darkness’ - came as a bit of a surprise given that 2013 saw Fede Alvarez reboot the series (some would say successfully) with ‘Evil Dead.’ However, Campbell - who also produced the reboot - concedes that not all fans took too kindly to that heavily re-worked, and notably Ash-free take on the material.
"[Fan reaction to last year’s ‘Evil Dead’ remake] was all, “Yeah yeah, that was nice, fellas, but we still want the real deal.” This is it. Sam’s back. I’m back. [Executive producer Rob Tapert’s] back. Love it or hate it, this will be the real deal.”
Still, despite emphasising the return of Sam Raimi’s signature ‘splatstick’ approach, Campbell does stress that ‘Ash Vs The Evil Dead’ will “[take] the horror parts very seriously. We’re not making fun of the horror aspects. And it’s going to cause Ash—this crabby middle-aged man who doesn’t want to get dragged back into this—a lot of problems. He’s not the Ash he used to be.”
Still, while this Ash may be older (and, as Campbell says, will be suffering heavily from “survivor’s guilt”), fans will be glad to hear he isn’t necessarily much wiser:
"He continues being a trash-talking know-it-all who doesn’t really know anything. He’s the ultimate anti-hero. He’s a guy with no appreciable skills. He’s not a former Navy SEAL, he’s not a former CIA or FBI. He’s no special anything. He’s just a guy from S-Mart, you know?
"And think that’s part of what people relate to. All these super hero movies - I rather relate to a garage mechanic who gets into a sticky situation.”
However, fans may be a little more conflicted to hear that, given Campbell isn’t as young as he was (he jokes that his stunt double is “going to wish his mother never met his father”), the plan is for Ash to have two younger co-stars backing him up:
“It’s a threesome, which is a good number. Since it’s not cast yet, it would be silly to fully describe them. But they’re supposed to be two very good counterparts.
"One is a male-bonding situation; the other is father-figure deal, since Ash could have a daughter the same age as this character. Hopefully we’ll pull Ash out of his loner-veteran mode and get him back into being a human being again."
Older star backed up by a younger actor and actress: let’s hope this doesn’t become another ‘Blade: Trinity’…
'Ash Vs the Evil Dead' is intended to air in late 2015 on US network Starz. Read more at Entertainment Weekly.
Picture Credit: DeLaurentis Entertainment Group, Ghost House Pictures