Evil Dead Rise is currently filming in New Zealand, the next chapter in the long-running horror series. Plot details are thin on the ground, making it impossible to place the sequel within the franchise continuity. Considering the Evil Dead already possesses a somewhat muddled timeline, does it really matter? Well, Bruce Campbell has stepped up to offer up a tidbit of info on the topic, and he doesn't seem fussed.
"People can actually call it what [they] want: Sequel, remake, reimagining. It really is just another Evil Dead movie," he told EW. "It's book-centric. It's all about [the Necronomicon]. Where does this book wind up and what happens to it over the millennia? In this case, it's set in the city, it's no more cabin in the woods. It's entirely different, unsuspecting heroines who are going to save the day. "
Starting with The Evil Dead in 1981, the flesh-bound tome has played a key role in all of the Dead movies. It first appeared in the 1981 original, where it was called the Naturom Demonto, and continued to crop up in every subsequent installment.
Throughout the franchise its origin changes, however, the basics of its creation and intention remain the same: it was made by the Dark Ones as a tool to conjure Kandarian demons. If you've seen any of the Evil Dead films, you'll know they're nasty creatures who seek to cause havoc and spawn Deadites by possessing the living.
As for what the newest sequel has in store for its cast of newcomers, the plot is a secret. But Campbell feels confident in Evil Dead creator Sam Raimi's choice of director: "Sam handpicked Lee Cronin, who is a very good Irish director, who did a movie called The Hole in the Ground. Lee is a very interesting filmmaker and Sam also worked with him on a couple of Quibi projects [with] Sam in a producing capacity."
"It's filming now in New Zealand, with some of their amazing crews down there and they're well into it," Campbell adds. "Rob Tapert is the hands-on producer and we're all very involved in the script. We all jump in at various times to chime in. But, yeah, the three of us are very involved."
The trio, Campbell, Raimi and Tapert, worked together way back in 1979 shooting the first movie, keeping an eye on the franchise ever since as executive producers and occasionally dipping in to do voice work on video games. Campbell reprised his role of Ash in the Ash vs. Evil Dead TV series for three seasons until its cancellation, but confirmed that while he won't be in the movie he's back for the new game, "I just finished the voice for that. The nice thing is, your voice doesn't age as much as your body, so I can milk that for a few more years."
While we've no release date as yet for Evil Dead Rise, it's set to stream exclusively on HBO Max in the US when it does land. Ahead of its arrival, why not get thoroughly terrified with our picks of the best horror movies ever made.