Bruce Campbell, who played numerous roles, including The Adventures of Brisco County Jr., Burn Notice, My Name is Bruce, and Bubba Ho-Tep, disclosed during a recent interview that he’s no longer playing the character that helped put him on map Ash Williams in the Evil Dead franchise.
Campbell has portrayed the role of Ash Williams for almost 40 years in a series about friends travelling to a cabin in the woods and unknowingly releasing evil spirits after discovering a cursed book and an audiotape. The actor, who began playing Williams in 1981, has portrayed the character in the franchise’s trilogy titled The Evil Dead, Evil Dead II, and Army of Darkness.
In addition to the films, he has also lent his voice for the character in 2000, 2003, 2005, 2011, and 2016 video games. Campbell made his appearance on the small screen as Williams in the Starz show Ash vs. Evil Dead. The series ran from 2015 to 2018.
While promoting his latest project, Black Friday, Campbell told Collider that he is done playing Williams. The reason behind the character’s retirement is that the 63-year-old can’t physically portray him anymore. He said, “I’m done playing Ash, so that determines a lot of where we go with the franchise without that character, but there are more stories. We’re doing it book-focused these days. That darn book gets around, and that’s how we play it. That book wound up in an urban environment with a single mom, so let’s see what happens. It’s fun to fiddle with it. There’s not gonna be any traditional form of Evil Dead anymore.”
Campbell added while mentioning Evil Dead creators, “Ash is gone. I’ve retired the character because I physically just can’t do him anymore, so why bother? Why do I do it? It’s time to hang up the chainsaw. But we still are filmmakers, we’re still producers, we’re still creative-type dudes, so we were like, “How do we keep this going otherwise?” Sam [Raimi] handpicked Fede Alvarez to do the remake a few years ago. He handpicked Lee Cronin for this one. These are Sam Raimi proteges that we hope will do a good job.”
When asked if Campbell would miss portraying Ash Williams, Campbell bluntly stated, “No. Whatever the cliched phrase is, I left it all on [the] table. I’ve got nothing else to give. The three seasons were the longest seasons of my life…I feel we really pushed all the buttons, and he fulfilled his destiny written in that ancient book. He was the guy destined to defeat evil in the past, present and future, and he took off with a hot robot chick at the end to go kick in the future. What else do you need?”
Although Campbell will no longer play the role of Ash Williams, he is currently producing the film’s latest instalment Evil Dead Rise set to be released in 2022 on HBO.