The reboot of one of the most beloved franchises in horror, Evil Dead, is poised to kick off production over the next few months.
Considering the original series low budget charm, it’s got to be a little nerve wracking for fans to see how it’s going to be updated today without Sam Raimi at the helm. Remember, t he original Evil Dead films were Raimi’s training ground as a filmmaker, and it would be wonderful to see what he could do with the series today, but a newcomer, Fede Alvarez, is now in charge, with Diablo Cody doing a rewrite of the script.
The new Evil Dead currently has a release date of April 13, 2013, and Lily Collins (Mirror Mirror) was up for a role, but now she’s being replaced by Jane Levy from the show Shameless.
She told Total Film, “I’m so excited. I’m a big fan of the original. To me it’s the scariest movie, ever. But this one is really different. They’ve changed it a lot, but it’s still a pretty gory movie.”
Changes? What kind of changes? Well, Levy said this one won’t be funny, which raises a warning flag with me at least, because part of the charm of the Dead series was Raimi’s melding slapstick and gore, paving the way for Peter Jackson’s “splat-stick” style years later. Then again, a lot of horror fans don’t like humor with their terror, although it sure worked well with American Werewolf in London, and Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein.
As Rob Tapert, producer of the original Evil Dead series told me, “Evil Dead 1 sells more DVDs on a year in, year out basis than Evil Dead 2 nowadays. I think the people who like horror really like horror, and they found Evil Dead 2 too tonally challenging because it had too much humor. I think the really hardcore horror fans only want Evil Dead 1. As I’ve come across more and more horror fans, that seems to be a consensus.
“They want the horror, the want the unrelenting grueling horror, and they don’t want the filmmaker to tell them when to laugh. If something’s too gruesome, they want to decide to laugh on their own. They don’t need a joke there. But as we went forward into Evil Dead 2, we thought, ‘Well, they were gonna laugh, let’s craft it anyways.’ That became a deliberate thought, specifically with Evil Dead 2. To change the tone was a way of making it interesting.”
Bruce Campbell also confirmed the trees from the first Evil Dead will be back, adding, “They’re not terribly well-behaved this time either.” And funny enough, Raimi regretted the raping trees of the first movie, thinking it was too gratuitous. Although Raimi’s not directing, and Campbell’s not starring, they are both producing, and as Diablo Cody told Total Film, “I wouldn’t have gotten involved if [they] hadn’t been involved as well.
Cody continued, “I was nervous to take the job, because I thought ‘Ugh, I’m gonna get sh*t for this… People think I’m gonna pollute Evil Dead with wacky dialogue, cute stuff and folk music,’ and it’s like, ‘No, look I understand what this is!’ I’m interested in making it scary and good and true to the original.”