Ash vs. Evil Dead may have proved a hit with both fans and critics, but that didn't stop Starz from pulling the plug on the Evil Dead spin-off after just three seasons. Now, four years on, Bruce Campbell has reflected on its cancellation – and admitted that he initially figured it would be axed before its final chapter even aired.
"We knew the ratings were bad after the end of the second season. We just knew it. No one knew what Starz was," the Ash Williams actor, who reprised his role from the movie trilogy for the series, told Collider. "I would say 'Hey, we're making a TV show.' People go 'Yeah, where can I see it?' 'Starz.' And there will be a pause, and a pause, and then they would go 'What's Starz?'"
Campbell went on to say that when the Deadite-filled horror comedy was added to Netflix, it found new life for a while. By that point, the broadcasters had already decided not to renew it. "When it dropped on Netflix, people went, 'Hey, Cool. Cool. Netflix is finally doing The Evil Dead show.' I'm like, 'Oh my God, it was three years too late,'" he said.
Developed by Ivan Raimi, Tom Spezialy, and Evil Dead creator Sam Raimi, Ash vs. Evil Dead ran from 2015 to 2018, and catches up with the titular hero almost 30 years after the events of Army of Darkness. Having failed to destroy the Necronomicon, Ash has become its de-facto caretaker over the years – his PTSD having led to his life becoming nomadic and boozy. But when the world is threatened by demons and monsters again, he must shake himself out of his funk and step up as humanity's savior once more. Ray Santiago, Dana DeLorenzo, and Lucy Lawless also star.
"It's commerce, it's business. You know, these companies were all expanding. AMC led the way, 'We're not just going to show other people's movies, we're going to make our own original stuff.' So everyone is making their own original stuff. Starz used to just show other people's movies," Campbell continued. "So the new sort of paradigm is you own it. It's gonna cost you a lot of money, but you now own these properties. So Starz is trying to do the same thing. But no one knew who they were."
In the same interview, Campbell revealed that there have been talks of reviving the show as part of an animated series instead. "My voice hasn't been as beat up as my body has been so I can still do that crap," he joked. Groovy!
Ash vs Evil Dead is available to stream now on Netflix. If you've already watched it, and don't fancy revisiting, then check out our list of best Netflix shows for some viewing inspiration.