Evil Dead Rise Director Lee Cronin Will Literally Give You Cash If You Spot His Bruce Campbell Reference

Ash Williams is not going to be in "Evil Dead Rise." No, really. No matter how much fans want it and how much the "Evil Dead" universe loves to throw Bruce Campbell's character back in the ring in the form of spin-off shows and post-credits scenes, director Lee Cronin tells Empire magazine that Ash really, truly will not appear in the new movie. Campbell, on the other hand? That's another story.

"It felt like in order to move the franchise somewhere new and to unlock the potential of the universe to tell more stories, it needed to break free [of Ash]," Cronin shared in an interview alongside original trilogy writer-director Sam Raimi. "But Bruce is hidden in the movie somewhere." Campbell's presence in the film is apparently pretty well-hidden, though, to the point that Cronin even offered up an incentive for finding him.

Spot Bruce and you might end up 50 bucks richer

"Bruce has a small presence in the movie," Cronin explained. "The first person to figure it out and send me a tweet, I'll give them 50 bucks." $50 is nothing to blink at, but it's also not the type of large cash prize that makes me think Campbell will be impossible to spot. The actor has a knack for cameos, most recently popping up as the confrontational pizza vendor known only as Pizza Poppa in Raimi's "Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness." His turn in "Evil Dead Rise," which seems to take place almost entirely in a Los Angeles apartment complex, will likely be tougher to spot. Personally, my money's on Campbell appearing as a voice on television or a background actor in a family photo.

"Evil Dead Rise" may be throwing the franchise rulebook out the window by leaving Ash offscreen, but it's certainly still playing by the book — that is, the Necronomicon. Long before the film released its leg-grating, Deadite-filled red band trailer, Campbell himself teased the new installment by saying that it's "all about" the Necronomicon, AKA the Book of the Dead. "It's book-centric," he told Entertainment Weekly. "Where does this book wind up and what happens to it over the millennia?"

The answer, in part, is that it ends up in the L.A. apartment building where a woman named Ellie (Alyssa Sutherland) lives with her three children. It's there that trailers show her sister Beth (Lily Sullivan) arriving just in time to witness Ellie reanimate into a horrifying, possessed facade of herself that seems inclined to torture her family in the most squirm-inducing way possible. 

We'll find out more about where Campbell could possibly fit into all of this when "Evil Dead Rise" hits theaters on April 21, 2023.