The CBR Speakeasy in North Hollywood, CA welcomed horror icon Bruce Campbell (“Evil Dead,” “Army of Darkness”) to talk about his upcoming television return to Ash Williams, the character he portrayed in Sam Raimi’s original “Evil Dead” Trilogy. Campbell tells CBR’s Jonah Weiland the reasons why Starz’s “Ash Vs. Evil Dead” miniseries happened, even after the franchise was rebooted (without Ash) in 2013, and explains that he never closed the door on returning to the franchise that began back in 1981.
Many have wondered why “Ash Vs. Evil Dead” ended up on TV at Starz rather than seeing Campbell and Raimi return to the big screen for another evil-fueled outing, and Campbell says the TV landscape and what’s acceptable to audiences has definitely changed since “Army of Darkness.” “Shows like ‘Walking Dead’ have done extremely well — like shockingly well — to the point where they’ve also contributed to the mainstreaming of horror,” said Campbell. “Horror used to be the stuff that gets banned. You’d only see that on Friday, Saturday night at midnight,” adding that, as “the old guys,” there’s still plenty left in the tank.
Despite originating the character nearly 35 years ago and returning for two sequels (and several video games), the actor said he never ruled out returning to Ash. “I haven’t done that ‘I’m Not Spock’ sort of thing, ‘I’m Not Ash.’ I know that I’m not, so it’s cool,” Campbell explained. “If people really dig it, that’s great, and the fact that they’ve stayed after us to do it has been a big reason why pushed to make it into a television show.
“Why not make it into a television show where you can take this character, take him on a hero’s journey,” Campbell said of the impetus behind the show. “He’s Job. Evil is rising once again to test the mettle of the average man, and that happens to be Ash. And in this case a middle-aged, crabby Ash who’s dragged basically kicking and screaming back into this.”