Interesting news arrives as the cast from the remake of 1981’s The Evil Dead, is finally rounded up by Sam Raimi. Initially helming the project with himself in place as director, he has picked a new director, and finalized the cast, who will make up the unfortunate victims of the dark forces lurking in our favorite evil cabin in the woods. The cast themselves are young upstarts who have all had various small roles in television and a few movies, the most notable of which being Jane Levy, who some might know from ABC’s Suburgatory, and Jessica Lucas, who you’d recognize as ‘Lily’ from 2008’s Cloverfield. The original lead of the film, was going to be Lilly Collins of Priest and The Blind Side fame, but scheduling problems led to Jane Levy being given the role. Along with newly chosen first time director Fede Alvarez, the new Evil Dead won’t be lacking fresh blood. So to speak.
“I’m so excited. I’m a big fan of the original. To me it’s the scariest movie, ever. But this one is really different. They’ve changed it a lot, but it’s still a pretty gory movie. My mom probably can’t see it. I think the humor in the first one came from the special effects of the time. I don’t know that they meant it to be funny…This one is not funny. It’s definitely dark.”
Here’s a picture of the forest in New Zealand, that Fede Alvarez will be filming the movie in.
Furthermore Bruce Campbell himself has confirmed that the trees are making a return, which in my opinion, is the spirit of the film, figuratively and literally. If that doesn’t put you at rest, then I don’t know what will.
Now if you ask me, I don’t think a remake of Evil Dead is inherently a bad thing. Ash wasn’t “Ash” until Evil Dead 2, and his presence in the first isn’t needed like it is in the latter films, since in the first he is the archetypical “loser turns unexpected survivor”, which ends up dying at the end. Even in the final credits music in Evil Dead dies, as per the whims of Sam Raimi, who at the time, was dedicated to making as outlandish, creative and as over the top a horror film he could. It stands to reason, that this approach, given modern context, should be taken, and done with that same attitude again. Make it extra gory, have extra creative cinematography, and focus on really driving home how insanely over the top everything should be. The current director at helm is relatively unknown, he’s apparently only done a few shorts, but Sam Raimi typically has a good eye for talent, and I generally trust his judgment (Spider-Man 3 notwithstanding).
But if you really wanted to blow my socks off, you’d be getting Mark Neveldine and Bryan Taylor to direct. A few of you might already be loathing those names if you recognize them, but others need to be reminded they directed the superbly over the top Crank, and it’s even more hilariously awesome sequel, along with the Ghost Rider sequel, which brought some life and creative lunacy into the franchise. The guys know how to move the camera, they know how to subvert expectations, and they know how to make things fun, wild and unpredictable. I know not everybody favors their eclectic style of filmmaking, but it’s undeniably unique, which is exactly what Evil Dead should be. Unfortunately, we don’t live in a dream world, and we have to accept what we’re given. So to take the old adage, “Hope for the best, but expect the worst“, I think will be the most appropriate response for this version of The Evil Dead. If anything, it’ll be worth it just to see the” tree scene” re-imagined, and shown to a whole new generation of shocked viewers.
In other Evil Dead News, Evil Dead 4 is being made! Huzzah! Only it’s by other people, who have no previous connection with the franchise! Huzza-wait, WHAT?
Award Pictures is developing ‘Evil Dead 4: Consequences‘, claiming that the copyright hasn’t been used since the original 1981 film, and was in fact revoked by Raimi and Tapert in 2000, which is silly, and kind of a childish. “You’re not using it, so it’s mine now!” argument, that will most assuredly get settled in court. Sam Raimi is obviously pursuing legal action, as the film would infringe upon the copyright of the remake, along with other damages and legal mumbo jumbo. To be honest, his lawsuit seems pretty solid, as Award Pictures’ claim is weak at best, and frivolous at worst. Ultimately, this will be settled, as there’s almost no way this will stop the remake, and is far more likely to end up negatively for Award Pictures.
All in all, I’ll be looking forward to seeing how the remake, the “sequel” and any other Evil Dead related projects turn out, because more Evil Dead is always a good thing.