A follow-up to Sam Raimi's 1992 horror comedy may come before a sequel to this year's Evil Dead reboot
After the box office success of this year's 'Evil Dead' reboot, a sequel seemed inevitable: but it looks like it might not come in quite the form we expected.
According to director Fede Alvarez, the plan may be not for a direct sequel to this year's hit, but a follow-on from the third installment, 1992's 'Army of Darkness,' which would see original director Sam Raimi return to the series.
Asked about what plans were for the future of the 'Evil Dead' series, Alvarez told Bloody Disgusting, "The pressure is on them now. Because as far as I know, and heard, Sam is really determined to get Army Of Darkness 2 happening... He is actually writing [it now]."
However, series producer and original trilogy star Bruce Campbell was less specific when quizzed on the matter. "We have to figure out what we want to do… because this wasn't a huge long term 18 movie plan, you know what I mean? These sequels - remakes, sequels, whatever you want to call them - come out of nowhere."
The possibility of multiple 'Evil Dead' movie universes running parallel has already been suggested. Back in March, Campbell told fans that the current plan was to make both an 'Army of Darkness 2' and a sequel to this year's 'Evil Dead,' and then for both narratives to meet in a seventh movie.
This could conceivably occur without messing up the logic (such as there is!) of any existing film in the series. The 'Evil Dead' reboot featured an entirely new crop of characters, and while it broadly replays the narrative of the original film, it could easily be considered an altogether separate story that occurs within the same universe.
In the first place, 1987's 'Evil Dead II' was more or less a remake of its predecessor anyway. Only 'Army of Darkness' can be definitively classed as a sequel, as it follows on directly from the climax of 'Evil Dead II,' with Bruce Campbell's hero Ash magically transported to the medieval era, where he continues his battle with the monstrous Deadites.
A direct follow-up to 'Army of Darkness' could conceivably take either of two specific directions, given that 'Army of Darkness' had two alternate endings used in different territories. (Spoilers ahead!)
The US version saw Ash successfully return to the present day, and return to his dual role as demon fighter, and housewares assistant at S-Mart. This ending was shot at the behest of studio Universal, who wanted a happy ending.
However, Raimi's preferred version - which was used in the UK and other territories - saw Ash accidentally drink too much sleeping potion, and awaken in a post-apocalyptic future. I daresay a story that continues in this version of events might make for a more compelling sequel, but that might also make it trickier for the narrative to crossover with that of the reboot. Mind you, they've done time travel once already…