A new entry in the Evil Dead franchise has been on the cards for some time and it appeared that Sam Raimi had hand-picked the director to take on the movie back in October. It’s perhaps surprising, then, that we’re only now getting confirmation of who that filmmaker will be, and it’s certainly not anyone who you would’ve guessed.
The new director is Lee Cronin, whose previous credits include 2019’s The Hole in the Ground, which has received solid critical praise since its release. The news of Cronin’s appointment came via Bruce Campbell in an interview with Empire, who also revealed that the working title for the movie is Evil Dead Now.
“It’s called Evil Dead Now. Sam handpicked Lee – he did a cool movie called The Hole in the Ground. We’re going to get that sucker out as soon as practical.”
It appears that the fifth Evil Dead film will be separate from the Fede Álvarez movie, and that it won’t feature Campbell’s Ash. Instead, it seems more likely that Cronin is being given the opportunity to tell a more unique story within the world that Raimi created. According to Campbell, part of this update will involve giving the franchise a contemporary tone and potentially a female lead.
“From this point forward, they kind of have to stand on their own. Which is fine. And liberating. You could have different heroes, different heroines in this case. This one’s gonna be a little more dynamic. We just want to keep the series current. And the mantra, really, is that our heroes and heroines are just regular people. That’s what we’re going to continue.”
At any rate, we’re happy that there’ll be a new entry in The Evil Dead series, especially after Ash vs. Evil Dead wrapped up in 2018. Raimi has been keen on bringing his creation back to the screen for a long time and has been working on this latest project since at least 2019. However, his hopes that Campbell will come out of retirement to play Ash are now looking less likely to be fulfilled, at least with this new film.
Cronin’s rise to taking over one of horror’s best-loved franchises has strong echoes of Fede Álvarez’s experience, wherein the Uruguayan filmmaker jumped from a short pic to directing the 2013 Evil Dead. While it’s a lot of pressure for Cronin, the quality of The Hole in the Ground demonstrates that he has the ability to do something special with Raimi’s material. It’s also unlikely that Raimi would take this risk without being confident in Cronin’s abilities, meaning that the eventual Evil Dead Now could be a fresh start for the long-running franchise.
We don’t currently have more details on when the new addition to the Evil Dead series will move forward, but hopefully it won’t be too long before COVID-19-enforced delays can be overcome and we can bring you more information on the film.