Bruce Campbell in Ash vs. Evil Dead
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Sam Raimi teases the future of Evil Dead, would 'love' to direct if Bruce Campbell returns

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Jan 3, 2020, 1:09 PM EST

Much like the Deadites themselves, the Evil Dead franchise is a horror icon that just refuses to stay dormant. The 21st century has so far given us two live-action returns to its terrifying world — the 2013 reboot film and the horror-comedy series Ash vs Evil Dead — and now director Sam Raimi is teasing multiple possibilities for the franchise's future, including one in which he returns to the director's chair. 

In a Reddit AMA on Thursday to promote The Grudge — which he produced alongside Evil Dead partner Rob Tapert — Raimi was asked if he would ever return to direct a fourth Evil Dead film, which would be his first as director since Army of Darkness was released all the way back in 1992. His answer revealed two possibilities for the future of the franchise, and a key condition under which he'd come back to direct.

"Bruce [Campbell], Rob [Tapert] and I are working with a young fillmaker who is writing a new Evil Dead story that he will direct," Raimi said. "As for me ... I would love to direct a new Evil Dead movie ... but I'd really like to do it with Bruce. And he says he's retired the character. I hope not."

Campbell announced at the end of Ash vs Evil Dead's run on Starz in 2018 that he was retiring his signature character Ash Williams, perhaps closing the door on any future installments of the franchise that would include him. That doesn't mean Evil Dead is done as a franchise, and it also doesn't necessarily mean Campbell couldn't be lured back by the prospect of working with Raimi again. Time will tell on that point. As for who this mystery filmmaker writing a new Evil Dead flick is ... well, step right up and place your bets.

There's also a third possibility when it comes to the future of Evil Dead on the big screen, and that's a return to the reboot timeline introduced in 2013 by director Fede Alvarez. That film was successful at the box office and found a following among horror fans who dug its relentless style, and those fans are still wondering if a sequel is in the cards. According to Raimi, he's ready for it as soon as Alvarez is.

"If Fede would write or direct it, yes, in a split second!" Raimi said when asked if a sequel could happen.

So, as we head into 2020, we've got a mystery Evil Dead movie in the works with the original creative team on board, presumably as producers. But we've also got a shot at returning to both the original franchise timeline and the reboot timeline if all the necessary creatives reach a point that they'd come back into the fold. Basically, if you love watching Deadite gore, it's time to be hopeful about the future.