"We're never going to do a sequel," Sam Raimi said in the 2000 book "Evil Dead Companion." But it looks like those words are coming back from the grave to haunt him.
THR reports that a legal faceoff is underway over the rights to make an "Evil Dead 4," with Raimi and his Renaissance Pictures in one corner and the otherwise unknown and hilariously named Award Pictures in the other. Basically it boils down to this: Award claims that thanks to that quote in 2000, Raimi essentially made a public declaration that he was abandoning the trademark to "The Evil Dead." The company also further contends that since a handful of other movies have come out in the years since using the name 'Evil Dead' in their title, Renaissance has further demonstrated an unwillingness to protect their brand. Until now.
Renaissance counters that Award Pictures' planned "Evil Dead 4: Consequences" is only going to confuse fans who will think it is linked to Raimi's characters and films, and that Award's movie infringes on their rights to the property. And that's essentially where everything stands at the moment -- oh, there's one more thing. Raimi says that Award's film also interferes with his plan to make an "Evil Dead" sequel for Sony and FilmDistrict. While chatter and rumors have been fervent, this seems to be the first legally binding word of that anyway. Keep hope alive Ash fans!
Will Raimi actually make/produce an "Evil Dead 4"? We'll believe it when we see it, but yes, there are a bunch of people who would love to see that happen. But until then, that Raimi-produced "The Evil Dead" remake is happening and presumably is an argument that they are continuing to build the brand and add value to it. So we'll see how this all turns out, but the true horror for this franchise at the moment seems to be the courtroom.