Cool new details as production begins on Ash vs Evil Dead

Just yesterday I took part in a conference call with Sam Raimi, Bruce Campbell and Rob Tapert – the primary creative force behind Starz’s Ash Vs. Evil Dead – as production got underway on the highly-anticipated horror-comedy series. Shooting on the first episode, which is being helmed by Raimi, commenced approximately five days ago, so the guys wanted to make some time to answer questions from myself and a host of curious horror bloggers.

There’s a lot of information to sort through (and more articles will drop in the near future), but here’s what seems most crucial at the moment:

– The chainsaw is back. In fact, it’s the same chainsaw; Bruce has apparently been hanging onto it just in case a revival of this sort happened. The Oldsmobile is back, too, of course.

– While the show has one larger plot, each episode would appear to operate as its own individual story. Said Tapert:

There is an overarching plot, but each episode is telling a self-contained story. The characters themselves are on a bigger journey, so those who turn in every week will be rewarded, but the casual viewer can come in and out and kind of get what’s going on. One of the reasons we decided we wanted to do a half-hour is we thought that this was a breakneck pace that the movies often had, and that really was the right format for the world of television, for this particular project. So I think that anybody can kind of join in, but those who love it will be able to see where it’s heading and have hopes and expectations about the outcome.

– The show is evidently more of a direct sequel to EVIL DEAD 2 and doesn’t reference ARMY OF DARKNESS:

It takes place in a slightly altered universe. It takes place in an alternate universe after Evil Dead 2… I don’t want to spoil too much for the audience, but that’s the truest answer I can give you. We would be seeing similar locations, meaning it lives in a modern day world, with Ash battling evil in this era, the modern era. Army of Darkness… does it exist? Certainly, Ash went through that experience, we’re not really referencing it. We’re not referencing specifics from that, but he certainly has that in his memory… We want the audience to be open, with no previous expectations going into the show. We want them to have seen one or all of the Evil Deads and be completely up to date on everything they need to know. So we really kind of designed it to live outside to having to have seen any of the movies. But if you’ve seen one, two, or three of the movies, it should still work very well for the viewer, we hope.

– Ash will be going up against more than just deadites, while the deadites themselves are going to be updated:

The storytelling over the first ten episodes, we will encounter deadites which are very different from than other faces of evil out there, and then we will expose the audience to new entities that were not presented in the Evil Dead universe so that the audience is surprised.

– It was alluded to that Ash is the reason the deadites come out of their slumber after a couple decades. Also, Ash is not in a good mental state when we meet him. Said Campbell:

He is a basket case. Ash is potentially damaged goods, and god forbid this is our hero. which is what really appeals to me personally as an actor. You know, you have a lead guy who in Army of Darkness was responsible for the deaths of hundreds of people because he couldn’t remember three words. This is a guy who has to save the entire world. So I’m excited to see what will happen.

Ash is definitely the hero we deserve… There will be more regarding Ash Vs Evil Dead in the coming days/weeks/months, so stay tuned. In the meantime, here’s the full press release announcing the start of production on the 10 episode series:

The STARZ Original series “Ash vs Evil Dead” began production this month in New Zealand on the 10-episode first season of the half-hour series executive produced by Sam Raimi, Rob Tapert, Bruce Campbell, the original filmmakers of the franchise, and Craig DiGregorio who will serve as executive producer and showrunner.  “Ash vs Evil Dead” is the long-awaited follow-up to the classic horror film franchise The Evil Dead and is set to premiere on STARZ in fall 2015.

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.

The cast is led by Bruce Campbell (Evil Dead, “Burn Notice”) in the role of Ash Williams, Lucy Lawless (“Salem,” “Spartacus”)  as Ruby a mysterious figure who believes Ash is the cause of the Evil outbreaks, Ray Santiago (“Touch,” Meet the Fockers)  as Pablo Simon Bolivar, an idealistic immigrant who becomes Ash’s loyal sidekick, Dana DeLorenzo (A Very Harold & Kumar  3D Christmas) as Kelly Maxwell, a moody wild child trying to outrun her past and Jill Marie Jones (“Sleepy Hollow”) as  Amanda Fisher, a disgraced Michigan State Trooper set to find our anti-hero Ash and prove his responsibility in the grisly  murder of her partner. Raimi is directing the first episode of “Ash vs Evil Dead” that he wrote with Ivan Raimi (Darkman, Army of Darkness, Drag Me to Hell), Craig DiGregorio (“Workaholics,” “Chuck”) and Tom Spezialy (“Chuck,” “Reaper,” “Desperate Housewives”). Raimi will  also serve as executive producer, with Rob Tapert (Evil Dead, “Spartacus,” Xena: Warrior Princess”) and Bruce Campbell  (Evil Dead, “Burn Notice”) along with Craig DiGregorio (“Workaholics,” “Chuck”) who will serve as executive  producer/showrunner. Ivan Raimi will co-executive produce and Aaron Lam (“Spartacus”) and Chloe Smith (“Spartacus”) will  serve as producers.


ASH VS EVIL DEAD debuts this Fall on Starz.