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Groovy! 'Evil Dead' sequel, 'Evil Dead Rise,' to premiere on HBO Max directly

By Nivea Serrao
Sam Raimi

Evil Dead fans rejoice! There's finally an update on the latest film in the horror franchise, Evil Dead Rise. The movie will make its way straight to HBO Max, skipping a cinema release entirely. It will also be produced by New Line Cinema, the studio that released the film that kicked off the whole franchise 40 years ago. 

Acclaimed horror director Sam Raimi, who created and directed the three movies that make up the original trilogy — The Evil Dead (1981), Evil Dead II (1987), and Army of Darkness (1993) — won't be returning to helm this one. Instead, he'll join trilogy star Bruce Campbell behind the scenes, as they'll both serve as producers on the project, alongside Robert Tapert, who produced all three movies. 

The new movie will serve as a sequel to the original trilogy as it follows a pair of estranged sisters in the city whose reunion is interrupted by the rise of some flesh-possessing demons, forcing them into battle for their very survival. The Mist's Alyssa Sutherland is set to star, along with Picnic at Hanging Rock's Lily Sullivan. Lee Cronin (The Hole In the Ground) will write and direct, having been chosen by both Raimi and Campbell. The movie will shoot on location in New Zealand.

Alyssa Sutherland and Lily Sullivan

"I’m thrilled to bring Evil Dead back to its original home at New Line 40 years after the release of the first film," said Raimi in a statement. "The company’s history as pioneers of horror speaks for itself. I’m equally excited to be working with Lee Cronin, whose gifts as a storyteller make him the ideal filmmaker to continue the enduring legacy of the franchise."

"At its core, Evil Dead is about ordinary people overcoming extraordinarily terrifying situations," Campbell added. "I can’t wait for Alyssa and Lily to fill the blood-soaked shoes of those who have come before them and carry on that tradition."

"The Evil Dead movies filled my brain with terror and awe when I first saw them at 9 years old," Cronin said. "I am excited and humbled to be resurrecting the most iconic of evil forces for both the fans and a whole new generation."

This isn't the first time studios have attempted to return to Raimi's cult classic. Sony attempted a revival in 2013 directed by Fede Alvarez (Texas Chainsaw Massacre sequel), with Raimi, Campbell, and Tapert producing. That was followed by three seasons of Ash vs Evil Dead on Starz, with the show running from 2015-2018. Not only did Campbell step into his signature role as Ash Williams, but he also co-produced the series with Raimi and Tapert.

Of course, this isn't New Line Cinema's first attempt at horror either, having been behind the box office breaking adaptations of Stephen King's It and the ever-popular Conjuring films.

No release date has been set for the new project yet.