When asked about the possibility of getting Bruce Campbell’s Ash out of retirement during Thursday’s The Grudge panel at New York Comic Con, Sam Raimi offered up a definitive answer and teased the future of the Evil Dead franchise.
“I really want more, but Bruce Campbell has said ‘no,'” said the Evil Dead and Spider-Man director, who is returning to the Grudge universe with the 2020 Nicolas Pesce-directed film. “He’s done being kicked around by me and having me throw blood in his face.”
In 2018, despite praise from critics and fans, Starz’s sequel series to the original Evil Dead trilogy, Ash vs Evil Dead, received the axe after three seasons. While it sounds unlikely that we’ll be seeing Campbell wielding his iconic chainsaw and shotgun anytime soon, Raimi continued by saying that they’re both certainly not done playing in the Evil Dead sandbox.
“He wants to work together, he just doesn’t want to play that role again right now. We’re working on a new Evil Dead story, a new director, and Bruce will be one of the producers. We’ll be very much involved in it and Bruce will be, in some sense, back with Evil Dead.”
It’s unclear if the new story mentioned is a direct sequel to 2013’s Evil Dead reboot, which was previously confirmed to be of the same universe as the original trilogy, or of a new continuity altogether. Campbell produced that film alongside Raimi and franchise staple Robert Tapert.
Raimi also gave an update on his directorial intentions, following a question regarding a potential return to the director’s chair — his last feature-length outing was 2013’s Oz the Great and Powerful.
“I’d love to, I love directing. It’s hard though — it’s hard when you don’t have the best script to direct… So I’m waiting to find a script that really speaks to me. That I think I can bring something to and elevate. And that I think other people would love, but something personal that I can really connect to and bring something to. As soon as I find that script, I’ll be back behind the director’s chair.”
At the panel, Raimi also confirmed that he and his brother/frequent collaborator, Ivan, are writing a horror movie together.
Sony Pictures’ The Grudge debuted a teaser trailer and clip to an excited Javits Center main stage crowd and featured a panel with, in additon to Raimi, director Nicolas Pesce and stars Andrea Riseborough, Lin Shaye and Betty Gilpin. The film will hit theaters on January 3, 2020.