Who doesn't love "The Evil Dead?" The film that launched the careers of both Sam Raimi and Joel Coen (who was an assistant editor for his pal), it remains to this day a grueling, grimy video nasty of the best kind, and was followed by a superior sequel, "Evil Dead II: Dead By Dawn," which remade the basic premise as if it was a Looney Tunes cartoon, and the enjoyable, if messy, "Army of Darkness." It's a franchise of the old-fashioned kind, where the central character (as embodied in the role of his career by Bruce Campbell) kept coming back because audiences demanded it, rather than because he sold toys.
It's close to 20 years since Ash and his chainsaw last appeared (aside from in a handful of video games and comics), although rumors of a revival have been rife for years: an attempt was made to incorporate the character into the "Freddy vs. Jason" franchise, and Raimi and Campbell have constantly been hinting at a fourth film, although it seemed like the kind of "one day, we'll get to it" answer that rarely materializes into an actual movie. Except, for once, it actually seems to be happening.
Dread Central reported last night that a fourth film is gearing up for production in Detroit, and that Raimi's regular collaborator, editor Bob Murawski, who worked with Raimi on all three "Spider-Man" films and "Drag Me to Hell" before winning an Oscar for "The Hurt Locker," is heading that way to work on the project. Furthermore, after saying a couple of months ago that a script was in existence, Bruce Campbell took to Twitter overnight to tell a fan, and we quote, "Believe in the remake, dawg! The project is real. In the works. Cool as hell. Scary as hell."
It does look like the film is closer to happening than ever before, and, most promisingly of all, it seems unlikely to be a Platinum Dunes-style glossy remake, with Dread Central calling it "a small indie thing like the first two." What's unclear is Raimi's level of involvement: the director said a couple of years back that he'd started writing a script with his brother Ivan, but that seemed to be a continuation, rather than a remake, and Campbell suggested in May that he wouldn't be reprising the role of Ash in the new version, although he would take an acting role and produce the film. But if a long-time collaborator like Murawski is involved, it suggests that Raimi hasn't washed his hands of it either.
He obviously won't be directing with "Oz: The Great and Powerful" gearing up to shoot in only a few weeks, but he could be involved in a producing capacity. It could be that Murawski is making his directorial debut on the film, for instance, but he is listed on IMDb as editor on 'Oz,' and would likely need to be involved throughout production. There are a lot of pieces of the puzzle still missing, but we're sure more official word will be forthcoming: considering the fan-base, we wouldn't be surprised by some kind of announcement at Comic-Con.