Lee Cronin Has Four Sequel Ideas For Evil Dead Rise (And They're All Killer)

This piece contains spoilers for "Evil Dead Rise."

With "Evil Dead Rise" about to traumatize theater-goers this weekend, director Lee Cronin has been on the publicity circuit, eloquently talking about his love of Sam Raimi's original films and what he wanted to do when he got a turn up at the plate. 

We all know that the first question from most outlets is going to be about sequels. Those questions offer the chance of a scoop or, at the very least, a buzzy headline. 

"Evil Dead" is a downright bizarre series that changes format from sequel to sequel, ranging from horrific (the original and the 2013 remake) to a blend of horror and comedy ("Evil Dead 2"), to just straight-up comedy ("Army of Darkness" and, it could be argued, "Ash vs. The Evil Dead"). The more recent "Evil Dead Rise" exists somewhere between "Evil Dead 2" and the 2013 "Evil Dead" remake in tone, and all that means is that the sky's the limit for future films in the "Evil Dead" universe. The fandom can accept a wide variety of tones with this property, so when Cronin shared his ideas for potential sequels with Variety it should be no surprise that the ideas kicking around in his brain are just as varied as the films have been up to this point.

Naturally, talking about where a sequel to "Evil Dead Rise" could go will involve some degree of spoilers for that film, so proceed with caution.

Location location location

Alright, you've been warned about spoilers and you're still here, so that means you really want to know what the future could hold for "Evil Dead." 

Cronin gave four different ideas that he's been considering should a sequel to "Evil Dead Rise" happen. Two of them involve a location, so let's start there.

"Evil Dead Rise" is bookended by the more familiar "cabin in the woods" locale, and we come to find out that someone from the apartment complex where the evil is let loose for the bulk of the movie has a little deadite in them and takes it with them on vacation. Cronin said that as much as he loved breaking free from the more traditional "Evil Dead" location, he'd love to make a full-on traditional "Evil Dead" movie:

"Because of the opening and the closing, there's that continuation of how this evil has a gate. That brings us back into that forest context, which excites me because I love that I broke the mold, but wouldn't it be fun now if I went back to the cabin in the woods. It could be a cool journey."

Then there's the apartment building itself. By the end of the movie, it's all kinds of messed up, with body parts and gallons of blood everywhere. Is the evil gone, or will the next group of people who enter the grounds be faced with more deadite action? Cronin said, "I've often thought, 'What happens when the cleanup crew shows up?'"

The Saw is family

We're left with two more potential paths to a sequel, at least as far as Cronin is concerned. One is the most obvious one. As the director puts it, this potential sequel idea would "follow the chainsaw," which would have Lily Sullivan's Beth once again in the forefront of the story, either seeking out the remaining deadite scum or being pursued by it. 

My favorite of his ideas is examining the origins of this film's Necronomicon, which he's said is a different copy than the one from the Raimi movies. We learn from some of the backstory through the events of "Evil Dead Rise." For one, it's buried in a vault beneath the parking garage surrounded by a bunch of holy charms and wards against evil. We also learn from the vinyl recording that some religious sect conjured this evil once before and somehow overcame it enough to hide the book away from humanity. 

Cronin told Slashfilm that this could be akin to "John Wick Evil Dead" with one priest versus 100 Deadites. Sign me up for that!

It should be worth noting that some of these ideas could merge with each other. I could easily see Beth in a cabin in the woods, for instance. Or having to come back to the apartment complex and rescue some poor fools who were sent there to restore the building.

Notice he never once mentioned a crossover with Ash Williams or Mia from the previous films, proving that there's an afterlife for the franchise beyond Bruce Campbell and Ash. So I wouldn't hold my breath for a big team-up film. That said, it would be pretty neat to see all those badasses together putting a final end to horrors of the Book of the Dead, would it not?

"Evil Dead Rise" is in theaters now.