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Army of Darkness 2 and What it Means for the Future of Evil Dead   2 comments

The internet had a small aneurism this week when B-Movie actor turned cable TV star Bruce Campbell maybe-sorta-kinda announced that he and long time best friend/bitter enemy/ blockbuster director Sam Raimi are working on the long awaited follow up to their cult classic Army of Darkness, the third film in the Evil Dead series.

For those unfamiliar with the films (right now is a good time to change that), they follow Ash Williams, played by Campbell, who goes to a cabin with his friends only to see them picked off one by one by demons. The third film sees him sent back in time to medieval Europe where he fights off an army of the dead.  The series was rebooted in 2013, with new characters in the same situation.

According to Bloody-Disgusting.com Campbell made the announcement at Wizard World Nashville when speaking to a crowd.  When asked if the film was going to happen he said:

“Ash would have to stop occasionally from chasing some deadite to catch his breath. Maybe we could do that, I guess. That would be exciting. Fight in a walker. That would be alright. Hit them with my cane. Fake them out, have a fake heart attack, distract a zombie. I like it.” and ended with “Alright sir, the answer is yes.

I am not one to get my hopes up about these things.  The idea that this movie was going to happen has been floating around since 1992.  But when Campbell said that it was actually happening, rather than saying it might like he had been known to do in the past, my exact reaction was “AHHHH!! I’m freaking out!

While I remain skeptical of any film’s expected existence until set set photos begin to leak, expectation that this announcement is true, and not just wishful thinking, is backed up by Fede Alvarez, who stated last month that “as far as I know, and heard, Sam is really determined to get Army Of Darkness 2 happening.”

Alvarez directed the very successful 2013 reboot of the Evil Dead series and is working on a sequel to that film.  According to my research, this is a first, of sorts.  The first time that a long running franchise and the reboot of that franchise will be making films simultaneously.

The one other instance would, perhaps, be the Living Dead films.  George Romero still puts out new ones every few years, even though the original film and its sequels have been remade a few times now.  But since each of those films are stand alone stories, with little connecting them other than mythology, I wouldn’t put them in same category.

Which brings me to the question of the day: How do you make a sequel to a franchise that has already been rebooted?

One answer seems to be: You don’t.

Or, rather, you didn’t.   In the past Alvarez has talked about the story lines of the original series and the “reboot ” connecting in a crossover film.  He and Campbell stated that such a thing might happen in a seventh movie (combined counts for the original and the reboot series).  I always took that to be an idol musing, but now its starting to sound like a game plan.  Which would mean that the 2013 film was never a reboot at all, but secretly an installment in the original series.

Sneaky.

The 2013 version never contradicted the original films.  No characters shared names with their original series counter parts, so although they go through very similar experiences we could take those events be the machinations of the demons possessing the cabin.  As such, they could take place in the same world.

This was hinted by two events in the reboot.

In the original film the demon spirits are released by a professor who reads an incantation from the Necronomicon, and makes the mistake of recording it.  The tapes are discovered by Ash and his friends, who play them, and release the demons again.  It is these same tapes, using the original audio, that set off the events in the new film as well.

Secondly, in a brief cameo Campbell reprises his roll as Ash in an after credits sequence.  He basically just looks at the screen and says his catch phrase, “Groovy.”  While not having to do with the story, and generally perceived as fan service, this could have been an indication that Ash is still around in the new story.  Watching things unfold.  Waiting to make his return.

The other prospect is that all of the talk of a cross over film is just that.  Talk.  An interesting idea that  won’t come to fruition and both film series will continue on without consideration of each other.  This is something that happens in plenty of media other than film.  Just think of how many different versions of Batman there are at any given time.  Or Frankenstein? (Side note, Bruce Campbell will be fighting Frankenstein in an upcoming film.)

Some thing similar to this has happened with Evil Dead series once before, with its overseas distribution.  In Italy the original films were released as La Casa and La Casa II.  Several other horror films with similar themes to Evil Dead were released under the La Casa banner.  In Italy there are already 7 La Casa films.

La Casa 3 was released in the States as Ghosthouse:

Or the film could go unmade making this all moot.  That happens all the time.  If it never happens at least there are plenty of comic books!

Are you excited for Army of Darkness 2, Evil Dead 2 or the possible cross over? Tell me below!

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Posted October 23, 2013 by atomicsam in Film

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2 responses to “Army of Darkness 2 and What it Means for the Future of Evil Dead

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  1. Pingback: Evolution of The Living Dead | AtomicSam

  2. “How do you make a sequel to a franchise that has already been rebooted?”

    Conan got rebooted in 2011. Now they are making a sequel to Conan the Destroyer with Arnold. Long live the 80’s!

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