Sam Raimi's Abandoned 'Evil Dead 4' Plot Sounds Brilliantly Bonkers

With Ash vs. Evil Dead set to arrive Starz this Halloween, the chances of a proper Evil Dead 4 just dwindled to near zero. After all, surely a new TV series can cover whatever ground a proper film sequel would have have gone over. If it's a hit, Ash vs. Evil Dead could essentially become Evil Dead 5 and Evil Dead 6 and so on, taking this beloved horror series in whatever direction it desires for as long as it desires.

But there's still that aura of "What-if?" and mystery surrounding a third Evil Dead sequel, and franchise director and mastermind Sam Raimi has only compounded it. Now that he's started talking about what could have been, we really want to see it happen.

For details on the dead (for now) Evil Dead 4 plot, hit the jump and read on.

The good folks at ScreenCrush attended a special screening of the Ash vs. Evil Dead pilot and the ensuing Q&A with cast and crew brought some very interesting details to light. It shouldn't come as a surprise that the series began its life as Evil Dead 4, but is is a little surprising that this particular version of Evil Dead 4 is heavily modified from a far wackier premise.

How wacky? Well, it would involve viewers being familiar with the theatrical and original cut of the franchise's third film, Army of Darkness. In the film's original ending, Ash, Bruce Campbell's monster-slaying, wisecracking jackass, escapes being trapped in a medieval hellscape (see: the time portal in Evil Dead 2) with a magic sleeping potion. But he takes too much and wakes up in the post-apocalypse, promising future Mad Max-tinged adventures.

That downbeat ending didn't fly with the studio and we ended up with this equally goofy but far happier ending, which finds Ash kicking butt and taking names at the local S-Mart.

And that brings us to that original Evil Dead 4 plot and, well, we'll just quote ScreenCrush here. It's a doozy:

And at that point, their bold plan was to actually make a movie starring two Ashes, one from each of Army of Darkness' endings. In other words, this Evil Dead 4 would have continued Ash's journey along both possible timelines in two parallel stories: Present Ash in one, future Ash in the other.

That sounds kind of incredible and would have allowed Raimi and his collaborators to have their cake and eat it, too. However, it also would have proven confusing for the non-die hard fans, who would watch and wonder where the heck this alternate reality future with a second Ash came from. Raimi ultimately realized that making a movie strictly for the few dozen people who have bought all 512 DVD releases of Army of Darkness was a cool idea, but not a doable one. The series that exists now may be a little more straightforward, but it's what most fans want to see.

For more details, make sure you check out the link above. Otherwise, Ash vs. Evil Dead is set to premiere on October 31, 2015 and it looks like quite a thing.