The resurrection of Evil Dead
Evil Dead is an upcoming "re-imagining" of Sam Rami's script for The Evil Dead - the remake has recently dropped "The" from its title. Both Raimi, who also directed the original, and Bruce Campbell, who starred in it, are involved this time as producers
It is, perhaps, not surprising that both have recently come out in support of the new film.
During a recent interview with Digital Spy, Campbell began by discussing the decision to alter the characters completely, discarding all names, and even going so far as to change the gender of the protagonist.
"There's none of the original characters," he said. "We didn't want to compare apples with apples. It's a contemporary movie - just like Evil Dead was contemporary in 1979, this is contemporary for young adults now. It's basically five new kids who are going to have a really bad night with a brand new director - Fede Alvarez, who was handpicked by Sam Raimi. I've seen it already; I think it's definitely fabulous."
When asked about the response of the original fans, he was mostly dismissive of claims the new film would ruin the franchise.
"[You know], we're really excited and really behind it, but it's going to take a bit to get the Evil Dead fans behind it. We know we've pissed a lot of them off. We appreciate that and we appreciate their anger and their zeal, but the only thing we want to impress upon them is that we didn't screw it up. This is going to be just as memorable as the original Evil Dead without being the same movie. You don't want to remake something shot-for-shot. I can't believe they [did that with the remake of] Psycho - what the hell kind of a waste of celluloid is that? It's a creative medium."
Then in defense of doing a remake at all, when he has expressed dislike of remakes, "I'm talking out of both sides of my mouth. Here I am remaking a movie at one end... but here's my spirited defense - it's our movie. Myself and Sam Raimi and Rob Tapert, we own that movie, it's our movie... I feel 100% justified doing anything we want with our property."
You can read the rest of that interview here.
Slightly more recently, Raimi was interviewed by Collider, and was asked about the gore level of the remake. "It’s really bloody," he said. "It’s so bloody, it will make your head spin. I’ve seen almost all the dailies and they’re really going for it. It’s gonna be grisly and intense and non-stop."
He then hinted the movie contained too much gore for even an 'R' rating, though that's doubtful, since it would make the film insanely difficult to sell to theaters, most of which have standing policies against anything higher on the scale than 'R.'
He went on to discuss his relationship with the film, and with Alvarez in particular. "I thought it would be fun, he said of watching another director interpret his 30 year old script and, in fact, it has turned out to be a tremendous amount of fun because it’s like an old melody that you write and you’ve brought in this really great, cool, young, hip jazz musician, and he’s riffing on it and showing you places it could go that you never dreamed. It’s very exciting for me."
While it may not be surprising that these two veterans are espousing the new version of their own film, it is a bit comforting. If it's popular, perhaps they'll remake the rest of the franchise. Army of Darkness was by far the best of them, and I wouldn't mind seeing a new take on that story.
The synopsis for the remake is thus:
Five twenty-something friends become holed up in a remote cabin where they discover a Book Of The Dead and unwittingly summon up dormant demons living in the nearby woods, which possess the youngsters in succession until only one is left intact to fight for survival.
Evil Dead - currently in post-production - is slated to hit theaters on April 12, 2013.