What ‘Evil Dead 4’ Could Have Been

Ash almost fought an army of machines.
Army Of Darkness
Orion Pictures
By  · Published on July 19th, 2019

If the Evil Dead franchise has taught us one thing, it’s that evil never really dies. All it takes is one person to read aloud a passage from the pages of the Necronomicon and demonic forces make their presence felt, hell-bent on tormenting the living.

For years — in films, television, video games, and comic books — Ash Williams (Bruce Campbell) was targeted by the Deadites. In 2013, however, Mia Allen (Jane Levy) found herself at a cabin in the woods being picked on by the demons, just like Ash before her.

With the inclusion of Mia in the Evil Dead universe, the franchise opened its doors for new central characters to enter the fray. As long as someone is stupid enough to open a Necronomicon while simultaneously making viewers root for them, why not include them?

The beauty of this franchise is that it boasts a world of possibilities. A new film, show, game, or comic can take place in any era and location. The torment of the Deadites has manifested in the form of trees, household appliances, possessed humans, and more. The potential for sequels and spinoffs that feel fresh and exciting is there.

When Starz canceled Ash vs. Evil Dead, we assumed that the franchise had met its end. However, according to Sam Raimi (per Bloody Disgusting), he, Campbell, and Rob Tapert are currently exploring ideas for another movie.

“We’d like to make another ‘Evil Dead’ feature and in fact we’re working on some ideas right now.”

Rami stated that he wants Campbell to reprise his iconic role. According to the actor, though, his tenure as the chainsaw-wielding hero is officially over. If there is another movie, it will likely feature another lead.

However, Raimi is also open to Fede Alvarez returning to direct a sequel to the 2013 reboot. Raimi considers that film canonical with the rest of the series, which opens up a new realm of possibilities.

One thing is for sure, though. If another film does happen, it will be unlike other ideas they had for sequels in the past. In an interview with ScreenRant, Raimi recalled some of the Evil Dead 4 ideas that were previously in development, some of which went against their better judgment.

After Army of Darkness, Ash could have found himself in a futuristic, post-apocalyptic England, or he could have gone back to his old job at S-Mart and slacked off. Or maybe he could have done both at the same time? Raimi said:

“So we wrote an ‘Evil Dead 4′ that followed both realities. We were going to be following two Bruces — one in the future and simultaneously crosscutting to Bruce here in the present. And we realized, we have really lost our mind now and we must stop.”

Another draft featured Ash as a documentary filmmaker who traveled across the country to sell his film and tell his tale. Unfortunately, no one was interested. On paper, this idea sounds like a found-footage take on Ash’s story.

The most intriguing idea, however, was an “Ash vs. Machines” movie which would have been on the scale of The Terminator. But Raimi ultimately abandoned the idea because he assumed there “wouldn’t be enough money for the big production we had planned.”

At one point, Freddy vs. Jason vs. Ash was in the works. As the title states, the film would have pitted Ash against the villains from A Nightmare on Elm Street and Friday the 13th, respectively. Freddy and Jason had already faced off against each other in a 2003 crossover film, which subsequently inspired a comic book series featuring Ash in 2007.

A couple of factors led to that film never coming to fruition, though. According to Campbell, it was a combination of him not being interested in making a crossover movie and not wanting to work with partners who owned the rights to the other properties.

While none of these ideas came to life in the end, they each represent the crazy directions this franchise can take. Raimi and his colleagues won’t resurrect these ideas for their new film. But they might come up with something even stranger — with or without Ash Williams.

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Kieran is a Contributor to the website you're currently reading. He also loves the movie Varsity Blues.