Lily Collins to play Evil Dead’s new ‘Ash’

Many fans are railing against Sam Rami and Bruce Campbell’s decision to remake the classic Evil Dead which they teamed up for nearly thirty years ago.

Recently, the team upset fans further by announcing that there would be no inclusion of the protagonist who ran the story through two sequels.

“There’s no Ash character in it” Campbell told TV Guide a couple months ago. “[Yes], that pisses people off, because like ‘How can you have Evil Dead without Ash?’

“We didn’t want to have the direct comparison. You put Ash and all those characters in it, ‘Oh, that guy was okay.’ I wouldn’t want to put an actor in that position.”

When I first heard this, I felt it was an arrogant play, and also believed that irrespective of a simple name change, the new actor would inevitably be compared to Campbell in the minds of the audience. 

Now, however, it’s been reported that the lead role will be played by Lily Collins, which clearly changes things. The new character isn’t just ‘not Ash’, she has a completely different story. While the original Evil Dead was about a guy and his group of friends chilling in the woods where they find the Book of the Dead, this new film introduces several fresh themes.

Collins, daughter of pop music star Phil Collins, was first noticed in a minor role in the recent action film Priest, then as the romantic lead in Abduction. Soon after, she took the lead role in the upcoming Mirror Mirror, a goofy interpretation on Snow White, across from Julia Roberts. When she was in talks to be in Evil Dead, I assumed she might take the role of the romantic lead, not the protagonist. This might shake up fans further, but frankly, I’m quite happy with it. I think Collins as the protagonist makes the film finally sound like it’ll be worth watching.

Collins will play Mia, a troubled young woman who is brought out into the woods by her friends as a way to help her break a bad drug habit. While there, the Book of the Dead is discovered, and the teens release the spirits of several demons. Of course, a big sub-plot of the film will involve some characters who aren’t sure just where Mia’s withdrawal symptoms end and where evil begins.

Evil Dead should kick off production soon, and is slated to hit theaters April 12, 2013.