Today, New Line Cinema announced that after 40 years away, the Evil Dead are making their triumphant return to the studio that brought them to life, for a new film in the beloved series, entitled Evil Dead Rise! Franchise creators, Sam Raimi, Robert Tapert and Bruce Campbell are officially reuniting with the studio after briefly working with various companies for other installments in the franchise, such as Sony Pictures for the 2013 remake starring Jane Levy (which honestly wasn’t bad), and Lionsgate and Starz for the supremely underrated, amazing gorefest that was the Ash Vs. Evil Dead series from 2015-2018. Tapert will be serving as the producer for the film, with Raimi and Campbell serving as executive producers.
The film is set to premiere on HBO Max and will be written and directed by Lee Cronin ( The Hole in the Ground). And it will star Alyssa Sutherland (Vikings) and Lily Sullivan (Picnic at Hanging Rock), as two sisters who have to do battle with the unholy Necronomicon-possessed demons! Whether this is directly connected to Raimi’s original series and the TV show or another reboot ala 2013’s Evil Dead remains to be seen.
Here is a brief statement from the studio:
Sam Raimi, Robert Tapert, and Bruce Campbell – the acclaimed filmmaking team behind the iconic Evil Dead franchise – will reunite with horror house New Line Cinema nearly 40 years after the Studio’s landmark release of their seminal shocker for the highly anticipated next chapter in the saga, Evil Dead Rise, for HBO Max. Moving the action out of the woods and into the city, Evil Dead Rise tells a twisted tale of two estranged sisters, played by Alyssa Sutherland (TV’s The Mist and Vikings) and Lily Sullivan (Picnic at Hanging Rock, Jungle), whose reunion is cut short by the rise of flesh-possessing demons, thrusting them into a primal battle for survival as they face the most nightmarish version of family imaginable.
With Tapert producing, and Raimi and Campbell signing on as executive producers, along with Romel Adam, John Keville and Macdara Kelleher, the new film is being written and directed by award-winning Irish filmmaker Lee Cronin, who was hand-picked to take the helm by Raimi, Tapert and Campbell after earning widespread praise from critics and fans alike for his feature directorial debut, the 2019 chiller The Hole in the Ground.
Said Raimi, “I’m thrilled to bring Evil Dead back to its original home at New Line 40 years after the release of the first film. The company’s history as pioneers of horror speaks for itself. I’m equally excited to be working with Lee Cronin, whose gifts as a storyteller make him the ideal filmmaker to continue the enduring legacy of the franchise.”
“At its core, Evil Dead is about ordinary people overcoming extraordinarily terrifying situations,” added Campbell, whose embodiment of the Evil Dead franchise’s reluctant hero, Ashley J. “Ash” Williams, has propelled the actor/filmmaker to international icon status across generations. “I can’t wait for Alyssa and Lily to fill the blood-soaked shoes of those who have come before them and carry on that tradition.”
Said director Cronin, “The Evil Dead movies filled my brain with terror and awe when I first saw them at nine years old. I am excited and humbled to be resurrecting the most iconic of evil forces for both the fans and a whole new generation.”
Richard Brener, President and Chief Creative Officer, New Line Cinema said, “New Line has a proud history of involvement in some of the most influential and enduring horror films of all time, and the original The Evil Dead was a landmark moment for the Studio. The movie transformed the genre and with each new installment, Sam, Rob and Bruce have continued to raise the bar. It’s exciting to have them back in the fold for Evil Dead Rise after all these years, especially as they bring with them an immense talent in director Lee Cronin. His inventive spirit and his reverence for the franchise make him the perfect director to unleash Evil Dead once again.”
Evil Dead Rise will be filmed on location in New Zealand, with post production work completed in Ireland. The film will be distributed internationally by Warner Bros. Pictures except for the UK where the film will be distributed by Canal Plus and France where the film will be distributed Metropolitan.
Little else is known about the project at the moment, other than I’m ridiculously excited to see what they do next, and I can’t get enough of that evil Evil Dead!
Evil Dead Rise will debut on HBO Max in the near future. Stay tuned to The Nerds of Color for more developments about the project as they are announced!