Horror icon Bruce Campbell may be down to play Ash Williams again in some form or another, but he’s definitely not interested in being in the next superhero film. In fact, the Evil Dead star isn’t really a fan of superhero films at all — as an actor or viewer.
In an interview with io9, Campbell explained that he finds superhero films one-way tickets to “Snoresville.” And why? As a viewer, it’s primarily the stakes (or lack thereof).
“The Evil Dead movies are about unsuspecting people with no special powers and things happened to them,” Campbell said. “So, it’s survival by normal people.”
His character, Ash, “can be killed at any time. Car crash. He’s dead. But these guys who have this special superhero power, to me that’s Snoresville,” he said. In particular, he called Batman v. Superman a “Stupid, stupid, stupid concept.”
“Never should’ve been made,” Campbell said. “Superman who can like, make the world go backwards with centrifugal force. Batman can’t do that. Superman can frickin’ fly. He’s the Man of Steel. All he has — one hand on Batman’s esophagus, the story is over. So, they spent a lot of money kidding themselves.”
But it’s not just the fact that he finds them dull to watch. In the interview, Campbell said acting in superhero films is restricting — in more ways than one.
“Actors [say things] like, ‘Man, I’d love to be Mysterio.’ OK. Congratulations. You’re Mysterio. Here’s your costume and you can’t even take a leak in this costume,” he said. “So, we’re going to be in this really uncomfortable outfit and you’re not really going to be anywhere. You’re in the king’s castle? Oh yeah, you’re on that chair, painted green in front of a green screen.”
Remember: Campbell cut his teeth making indie films with his buddy Sam Raimi, shooting out real windows with real guns in the woods. And although he admits this was a dangerous way to make movies, there was also a realness and physicality to these early films. He misses that, and says it's completely absent from studio filmmaking — and, in particular, from how superhero films are made.
“Obviously, it’s very unsafe to do what we did," he noted. "And on the other hand, it’s not as real. You have to really use your imagination of what the end thing is going to look like with the shotgun,” he said.
As is the case with almost all interviews with Campbell, it’s a whole lot of fun to read and/or to watch (there's a video accompanying a transcript of the chat). You can currently see Campbell hosting and producing the latest version of Ripley's Believe It or Not! on the Travel Channel.