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Evil Dead Rise: 6 Quick Things We Know About The New Evil Dead Movie

Ellen Sandweiss in The Evil Dead

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Speaking as a huge fan of the Evil Dead movies, I had no problem accepting the Ash vs. Evil Dead series finale in 2018 as the finale for the horror movie franchise as a whole. Of course, that does not mean I was not open to the possibility of another installment of human vs. Deadite action, which is why I am very excited at the fact that Evil Dead Rise is now on the rise and shuffling over to HBO Max. However, that is only the tip of the iceberg of what we know so far about what is destined to be one of the grooviest upcoming horror movies, but where primitive screwheads will be able to watch it is where we shall start.

Evil Dead Rise will be available to stream exclusively on HBO Max

Evil Dead Rise Will Be Available To Stream On HBO Max

While the original The Evil Dead did receive a theatrical release in 1981, it achieved cult status through viewings on home video and was even infamously branded as a “Video Nasty” in the United Kingdom. In that regard, it is appropriate that the latest installment of the franchise will be made exclusively available to watch at home.

In May 2021, Warner Bros. (which owns the movie franchises’ original home, New Line Cinema) announced that Evil Dead Rise will be released as an HBO Max original movie. No official release date was confirmed with the announcement, but it did give us a sneak peek at the plot.

The Ash vs. Evil Dead cast

Evil Dead Rise Will Bring The Battle Against Deadites To An Urban Setting

It could be argued that The Evil Dead is what essentially pioneered the “cabin the woods” style of horror movies that later inspired self-aware horror-comedy movies like Tucker and Dale vs. Evil or… well, The Cabin in the Woods, of course. However, when franchise protagonist Bruce Campbell revealed the official title of Evil Dead Rise, he also promised the new installment be “a whole new ballgame.”

The official logline for Evil Dead Rise says that the new film is “moving the action out of the woods and into the city." Unless you count Ash vs. Evil Dead’s climactic battle in the small town of Elk Grove, we have never seen urbanites take on the Deadites before. The film’s protagonists are also new to the franchise.

Evil Dead Rise star Alyssa Sutherland on Vikings

Vikings’ Alyssa Sutherland Leads The Evil Dead Rise Cast

According to the logline, Evil Dead Rise is really a family story at its core, following two sisters rekindling their relationship after years apart just as malevolent, possessive spirits are unleashed, threatening to tear them apart again. Variety reports that these female Deadite detractors will be played by Alyssa Sutherland, whom you may recognize as Queen Aslaug on Vikings or the recent Shudder movies original Blood Vessel, and Lily Sullivan, who is best known for the Amazon Prime original whodunnit miniseries Picnic at Hanging Rock from 2018.

Also included on the Evil Dead Rise cast is transgender actor Morgan Davies, Gabrielle Echols of the Reminiscence cast, and 9-year-old Nell Fisher, who is probably destined to join the legion of horror Scream Queens with this being her cinematic debut. One name that appears to be missing from this list, however, is who many would call the reigning “Scream King.”

Bruce Campbell on Ash vs. Evil Dead

Bruce Campbell Is Not Returning As Ash In Evil Dead Rise

It is really difficult to imagine an Evil Dead movie without Bruce Campbell playing Ashley “Ash” J. Williams, who evolved from a desperate loner in the first film to a bumbling, wisecracking, chainsaw-handed badass by the time Army of Darkness came out in 1993. Hell, even 2013’s Evil Dead by Fede Alvarez features a post-credits cameo of the character uttering his approval of the remake with his signature, one-word catchphrase: “Groovy.”

However, that may truly be the last time we see Ash on the big screen since Bruce Campbell officially retired the character in 2018 when Starz cancelled Ash vs. Evil Dead after three seasons. Even though he and other classic franchise characters are appearing in the upcoming Evil Dead video game, he will not have a part in Evil Dead Rise that we know of. However, Campbell is still very much involved in the project behind the scenes.

Sam Raimi in Evil Dead II

Bruce Campbell And Sam Raimi Are Executive Producing Evil Dead Rise

In addition to being the star of most of the Evil Dead franchise, Bruce Campbell has also been an executive producer of each installment, including the remake and TV spin-off. The 63-year-old former Burn Notice cast member is returning to that position for Evil Dead Rise, which is not a bad consolation to seeing him absent from the cast.

Also returning to the franchise he created as executive producer is Sam Raimi, who wrote, produced, and directed the first three films before becoming well known for superhero movies like his Spider-Man trilogy and the upcoming Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. Rob Tapert, another one of the original creators of The Evil Dead, is also producing, as well as Taper’s former assistant turned Don’t Breathe 2 co-producer Romel Adam.

Seána Kerslake in The Hole in the Ground

Lee Cronin Is Writing And Directing Evil Dead Rise

Evil Dead Rise will be the second film in the franchise to not be directed by Sam Raimi, despite previously voicing interest in making another film if Bruce Campbell would star, which is obviously not going to happen. However, just like he did with the 2013 remake, the “splatterstick” auteur has hand-picked his replacement himself.

Irish filmmaker Lee Cronin made a promising break into the horror genre which his impressive short Ghost Train in 2016, followed by his interesting feature-length debut The Hole in the Ground in 2019. The following year he collaborated with Sam Raimi on his Quibi original anthology series 50 States of Fright, which led him to become the filmmaker’s choice to helm Evil Dead Rise. I would not be surprised if Cronin’s background directing comedy shorts helped influence the decision a bit, too.

Whether or not Sam Raimi is directing, Bruce Campbell is appearing as Ash, or even Sam’s brother, Ted Raimi, plays another grotesque Deadite, like (Henrietta in Evil Dead II), the idea of an Evil Dead sequel finally happening is pretty exciting enough. We shall see how groovy this new installment proves to be whenever it comes out on HBO Max.

Jason Wiese
Jason Wiese

Jason has been writing since he was able to pick up a washable marker, with which he wrote his debut illustrated children's story, later transitioning to a short-lived comic book series and (very) amateur filmmaking before finally settling on pursuing a career in writing about movies in lieu of making them. Look for his name in just about any article related to Batman.