The upcoming Ash vs Evil Dead TV series held a panel at this weeks Television Critics Association, and director Sam Raimi and stars Bruce Campbell and Lucy Lawless were among the guests. SlashFilm were on hand to collect some juicy details, and they are VERY juicy details indeed.
From talk of LOTS of blood, to more Evil Dead film, let’s get cracking!
Sam Raimi produces the show, and directed the pilot episode, and he revealed just how the TV series came about:
“First my brother Ivan and I wrote a movie,” Raimi said. “It was too big and unwieldy. Then our partner Rob Tapert said, ‘Why don’t we make it as a TV show? I’ve had some great experiences in television, [like] Spartacus. The threshold of what you can show on TV [has increased]. We can give the audience what they really wanted, which was Bruce Campbell as Ash. TV is about character. This is an opportunity to let him talk which Bruce loves to do. Starz said that’s exactly what we want to do.”
While on the subject of the content of the show, Campbell perked up, and talked about the amount of blood involved:
“I went blind the other day shooting a scene,” Campbell said. “Just picture that. Take a shower and open your eyes right into the faucet. That’s how much blood there is on this show. I’ve been gagged once and I went blind. That’s a lot of blood on the show. So anyone who’s looking for it, it’s coming your way.”
He then referenced the infamous tree rape scene: “I think you’re going to find things that disturb you as much as that sequence in the original Evil Dead but they’ll be different and new,”
Lucy Lawless, who plays Ash’s advisory in the series, was on hand to talk about her character, Ruby, and Raimi reiterated the importance of her character:
“We needed a powerful adversary for Ash. Someone who can be formidable and you can believe can kick his butt. He’s a monster fighter every day. She has gravitas and is a real threat to him. That’s why Lucy’s a great choice.”
And here is the first ever image of Ruby:
Talk quickly moved towards more Evil Dead film, which is what fans have been crying out for for years. Even with a TV series, and a superb remake, fans still want more, and it sounds like both Raimi and Campbell are giving in to the pressure of pleasing those who made them stars:
“Even if I was over it, the fans would not allow me to be over it,” Campbell said. “I’ve gone to conventions since 1988, every subsequent year I hear, ‘When are you making more of this?’ I came to a realization. You’re only going to be remembered based on what people watch. If you only watch horror movies, I’m going to be remembered as Ash. I’ve actually been more pigeonholed by my fans than the film industry itself. I don’t think I was ever really over it. You get a little tired of not being able to answer them. I couldn’t really tell them so I was more frustrated like them, than being over it. I can’t be over the Evil Dead movies. They got me into the film business.”
“I had the same experience as Bruce,” Raimi said. “I thought I was very lucky in my film career. I got some great jobs, Spider-Man, Spider-Man 2. I’d go to conventions and all people ask is when I’m going to make another Evil Dead film. I thought this is the biggest movie I could do and all you want to talk about [is Evil Dead]. They want this story from me. I thought I was telling other good stories but they don’t care about them. They want this one. We should really embrace it. It just takes a long time to get over yourself.”
“This series will force us to make more movies. That’s only 10 [half] hours of programming; we need eight more movies,” Campbell joked, pointing out the way fans always want more than they’re getting. “Making a fourth movie would work. No matter what we give them, it will never be enough.”
Mimi Rogers (“Mad Men,” ”NCIS”) has joined the cast of the highly anticipated STARZ series “Ash vs. Evil Dead,” slated to debut this fall. Rogers will play Suzy Maxwell, a woman who is reunited with her family and several uninvited guests after a freak accident. The long-awaited follow-up to the classic horror film franchise The Evil Dead is executive produced by Sam Raimi, Rob Tapert, and Bruce Campbell, the original filmmakers of the franchise, and Craig DiGregorio, who will serve as executive producer and showrunner. “Ash vs. Evil Dead” is currently shooting in New Zealand on the 10-episode first season.
Rogers joins the cast 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,” which 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.
Joining Sam Raimi in the director’s chair are Michael J. Bassett, who helmed Solomon Kane, Deathwatch and Silent Hill: Revelation 3D; Canadian filmmaker David Frazee who shot a few episodes of “Orphan Black”; New Zealander Michael Hurst of “Xena” and “Spartacus” fame; Aussie Tony Tilse who shot “Underbelly”; “Xena” and “Spartucus” vet Rick Jacobson is responsible for the season finale.
The STARZ Original series “Ash vs Evil Dead” will be 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.