Evil Dead Rise director talks "expanding the Evil Dead universe further"

Evil Dead Rise
(Image credit: New Line Cinema)

It’s over 40 years since Ash Williams and his friends made the fatal error of opening the Necronomicon in Sam Raimi’s original The Evil Dead. The demonic Deadites have proved more resilient than their peers on the infamous list of ’80s 'video nasties', and now they’re set for a Los Angeles-based comeback titled Evil Dead Rise.

"There’s no Ash in this story and there’s no cabin in the woods, and they’re two iconic elements of what Evil Dead is," writer/director Lee Cronin tells Total Film in the new issue of the magazine, featuring Oppenheimer on the cover. "But the movie does include the book and an extraordinary amount of vicious, malevolent Deadites, so I was always pretty comfortable making that move [to LA].

"It still needed to maintain some of the claustrophobia," he continues, "and that translated really well from the cabin into an urban environment. This is about a family in a rundown building stuck in their apartment, so it follows the same rhythm but puts it in a more contemporary space."

Evil Dead Rise

(Image credit: New Line Cinema)

There’s no cabin in the woods in the latest Evil Dead movie. Cronin (who caught Raimi’s eye with 2019 horror The Hole In The Ground) is a lifelong fan of the franchise, having seen the first two Evil Deads when he was nine. So while he happily admits that the three Raimi films, 2013 reboot/sequel Evil Dead, and TV spin-off Ash Vs Evil Dead "don’t quite fit together perfectly", he’s tried to keep the latest film faithful to what’s come before. 

"It’s firmly in the universe," the director explains. "There’s a lot of fun callbacks, and there are direct lines to the past. But part of the goal of making this movie was to create something that could expand the Evil Dead universe further."


For more on Evil Dead Rise, pick up a copy of Total Film's 2023 Preview issue, fronted by Christopher Nolan's Oppenheimer. You can pre-order here, and the magazine will be available in shops and on digital newsstands from Thursday, December 15. And the print version of this new issue comes with a special 52-page supplement counting down the best films, must-see moments, and breakout stars of 2022.

Total Film's 2023 Preview and Review of the Year 2022

(Image credit: Universal/Syncopy/Total Film)

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Richard is a freelancer journalist and editor, and was once a physicist. Rich is the former editor of SFX Magazine, but has since gone freelance, writing for websites and publications including GamesRadar+, SFX, Total Film, and more. He also co-hosts the podcast, Robby the Robot's Waiting, which is focused on sci-fi and fantasy.