The Evil Dead has officially just gotten a new lease on life.
Starz has announced that it is giving the green light to a new original series based on the classic horror film franchise, which will air in 2015 and is officially titled Ash vs. Evil Dead.
We had already heard that Bruce Campbell was coming back in his iconic role as Ash -- but even better, original Evil Dead director Sam Raimi is going to direct the first episode and co-write it with his brother Ivan. Raimi's producing partner on the original movies, Rob Tapert, is back as well and will serve as executive producer alongside Campbell and both Raimis.
Raimi said in a press release:
"Evil Dead has always been a blast. Bruce, Rob, and I are thrilled to have the opportunity to tell the next chapter in Ash’s lame, but heroic saga. With his chainsaw arm and his ‘boomstick,’ Ash is back to kick some monster butt. And brother, this time there’s a truckload of it."
Campbell weighed in too:
"I'm really excited to bring this series to the Evil Dead fans worldwide -- it's going to be everything they have been clamoring for: serious deadite ass-kicking and plenty of outrageous humor."
Here's the plot description Starz unveiled for the show, which will consist of 10 half-hour episodes:
Bruce Campbell will be reprising his role as Ash, the stock boy, aging lothario and chainsaw-handed monster hunter who has spent the last 30 years avoiding responsibility, maturity and the terrors of the Evil Dead. When a Deadite plague threatens to destroy all of mankind, Ash is finally forced to face his demons --personal and literal. Destiny, it turns out, has no plans to release the unlikely hero from its “Evil” grip.
Can The Evil Dead work as a TV show? After the moderately successful but soulless 2013 remake of the original film -- which amped up the gore and unpleasantness but lacked all the handmade charm of Raimi's zany/scary classic -- there was talk that Raimi would direct his own long-awaited Evil Dead 4/Army of Darkness 2. Perhaps in the absence of studio backing for another big-screen outing, this is the evolution of that idea.
We're heartened that the original team is back on board for this and seemingly very hands-on, so now the question is whether they can stretch the material to the TV equivalent of three feature films lengthwise. Do you think The Evil Dead -- sorry, Ash vs. Evil Dead -- can bring back the magic?