Bruce Campbell may have sadly retired from playing Ash in the Evil Dead franchise, but that doesn’t mean the series can’t continue, and the man himself has now endorsed a successor to headline a future movie in the form of CM Punk.
A former professional wrestler and MMA fighter, Punk is new to the world of acting, but is already making a name for himself in the horror community after a small part as a predatory alpha male in the Soska Sisters’ remake of Rabid and more notably, the lead role in Travis Stevens’ supremely sinister haunted house horror Girl On the Third Floor.
After the latter of these hit Netflix, fans took to Twitter to express their belief that he would make a great replacement as Ash, and now Campbell has gotten wind of the support and thrown his weight behind it.
You know what? CM Punk is great! He should play a guy in a horror series named Nash, or Bash, or Lash. With all due respect, the name Ash is, like the best table at a restaurant, reserved. https://t.co/IwFidPQRDv
— Bruce Campbell (@GroovyBruce) March 4, 2020
Since originating the role in 1981 with The Evil Dead, Campbell and Ash have been synonymous with the franchise. He returned to the character on screen in 1987’s Evil Dead II and Army of Darkness in 1992, and also voiced him in video games and provided a disconnected post-credits cameo for the 2013 remake. He was given a final reprise in the excellent TV series Ash vs. Evil Dead, and after its premature cancellation, stated he believed the franchise could still continue without him.
Punk certainly has the physicality to convince as someone who could take as much punishment as Ash does, with his WWE days providing ample training for the physical abuse to be endured, and it must be said he does bear a passing resemblance to Campbell in his younger years. However, just as important to Evil Dead is the physical comedy that its moron protagonist engages in, which Punk has yet to demonstrate any talent for. That said, the lack of opportunity does not imply the absence of ability, and should he get the part, he may well display further hidden depths.