Bruce Campbell Says The Evil Dead Animated Series Is Still In Development

It's astonishing the longevity of the "Evil Dead" series, given how deliberately thin the original film's mythology was. In Sam Raimi's 1981 low-budget classic, "The Evil Dead," a group of college kids, including the acerbic Ash (Bruce Campbell) hole up in a remote forest cabin for the usual reasons, when they find an evil-looking book in the basement — the Necronomicon — and a mysterious tape recorder. Playing back the tape, they hear evil incantations from the book, read by the cabin's previous tenant. The spell awakens evil monsters who kill the college kids and are generally a nuisance to Ash. 

In the 1987 sequel-cum-remake, "Evil Dead 2: Dead By Dawn," it's further established that a second spell can banish the monsters back to Hell ... and also throw Ash back in time to the 14th century. The third film in the series, 1993's "Army of Darkness," takes place in the distant past, although the evil monsters are just as goofy as their 20th-century counterparts.

The Necronomicon is clearly very powerful, although the rules governing the actual Evil Dead are never clearly spoken aloud. Despite this, there have been five "Evil Dead" movies (the fifth is due in theaters on April 21), comic books, a video game, and a four-season TV series called "Ash vs. Evil Dead." For the most part, these films are more about the arc of Ash, who goes from a plain fellow to a foolish, dumb blowhard who happens to be good at killing monsters. 

Despite its dramatic limitations, "Ash vs. Evil Dead" will soon be adapted into an animated series, with Campbell, 64, playing his beloved a-hole character once again. Campbell updated fans in a recent interview with Bloody Disgusting about the project. 

Looking into it

It seems that an animated "Evil Dead" series is not yet a done deal. Bruce Campbell and Sam Raimi seem to be pursuing the idea, but Raimi, having just directed "Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness," an ultra-successful film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, seems to have his hands full resting on his laurels. As Campbell said: 

"All I can say is we're actively pursuing it. Sam's a busy guy. He had a big hit movie, so he's got a lot on his plate, but he and his brother are actively shaping out the world. It's one thing to get an animator and say, 'Hey, animate this!' You've got to know what you're going to animate. I look forward to it, because my voice hasn't aged as much as I have." 

Campbell has said in interviews that playing Ash has become increasingly unappealing over the years because, in his 60s, he's not as capable in doing the stunts and fights as he was decades prior. Playing Ash is now physically painful. At a live event this author once attended, Campbell also confessed to kind of hating Ash, as the character was a rude, surly a-hole. Should Campbell be able to play the role without having to do any stunts, however, the part becomes that much more appealing. It seems he's fine to un-retire Ash if there's no running or punching involved. 

However he returns, Campbell has some of the most passionate fans of any actor, who would be pleased to see him perform in any capacity. Even his cameo in "Multiverse of Madness" caused a stir. 

Campbell's other desires

Throughout the 1990s, Bruce Campbell became notable on TV for a few high-profile, live-action adventure shows. After a supporting gig in the massive "Xena: Warrior Princess," Campbell also starred in "Jack of All Trades," and the sci-fi Western, "The Adventures of Brisco County, Jr." In a new /Film interview with our own Danielle Ryan, Campbell talked about a potential revival of "Brisco County," updating the character to match his age. Brisco County, Jr. worked as a freelance adventurer for hire after his law career didn't pan out. Campbell sees Brisco as an older man overseeing the adventures of a new generation. Sadly, Campbell's co-star, Julius Carry, who played the tough-as-nails Lord Bowler, passed away in 2008. But that doesn't mean his character didn't have a son. Campbell's pitch was simple: 

"The Adventures of Brisco County" is ... you would bring him back following the death of Lord Bowler to find out who killed Lord Bowler, and you have potentially a Brisco son with Dixie that we don't know about, and maybe a Bowler's son that we don't know about, and maybe those guys team up. With me being a successful San Francisco lawyer, maybe he's got to saddle up again at some point. But you'd have to take a new spin on the whole thing, but I'd be all over that like a cheap suit."

Campbell, it seems, is happy to be recognized now. In a 2016 interview with Variety, the actor admitted that he once hated being called "Ash," but not only came to peace with it, but decided to flood the market with the character. Now, it seems, he's perfectly willing to overfeed fans with his premise. Given how beloved he is, it won't be hard.