Successful movies call for sequels, and successful sequels often call for trilogies and series. We, as consumers and film viewers, have literally watched as this trend of “sequelism” has grown in the movie industry for decades, often to our delight. There is no denying the success of many film sequels and series, old and new. From “Star Trek” to “Shrek,” film series can delight millions. There is, however, a new trend growing in the film industry that takes the sequel to a whole new level – the concept of “universe building”. Creating a series of interconnected movies and projects in the same fictional universe has been a common practice in the sci-fi and fantasy industries; “Star Trek” has been a universe that is constantly expanding and changing through multiple mediums since 1966. Superheroes have received similar treatment more recently to great success in both quality of a product and box office numbers. It now seems that the “universe building” trend has begun spread to the horror industry.
Earlier this year, moviegoers were graced and delighted by Sam Raimi’s remake of his classic cult horror hit, “Evil Dead.” The remake did fairly well in the box office and was received equally well amongst viewers. The “Evil Dead” universe seems to be finding new life as news has recently circulated that Bruce Campbell has been slated to reprise his iconic roll as Ashley James, “Ash” Williams in a sequel the 1992 comedy-horror classic, “Army of Darkness”. A sequel has been wished for and discussed by fans for 21 years now and apparently Raimi was listening. The internet blew up as fans of the cult horror series searched for more information regarding a potential new movie. With the release of “Evil Dead” in the back of many a fan’s mind, the idea of Campbell coming back to “Army of Darkness” does not seem that farfetched.
In an interview with, “Shock Till You Drop,” an online horror blog, Robert Tapert, the man who produced the original “Evil Dead” films and many other entries in Raimi’s filmography, was quoted clearing up confusion on an upcoming script.
“That would be ‘Army of Darkness 2.’ Everybody calls it ‘Evil Dead 4’ but ‘Army of Darkness’ wasn’t called ‘Evil Dead’ anywhere except by the fans.”
With a rough confirmation of Raimi’s involvement in the project, the only thing we need is the official confirmation from Bruce Campbell. While the actor has been busy over the past few years, namely as Sam Axe on USA Network’s “Burn Notice,” his schedule has cleared up in the past year. Campbell had this to say at a recent Comic Con in Nashville:
“The last one was 22 years ago. I just haven’t been racing to do it. Sam Raimi is just a little bit busy making the biggest movies in Hollywood. I used to be busy. Now I’m not. That’s why I’m here. Ash would have to stop occasionally from chasing some deadite to catch his breath. Maybe we could do that, I guess. That would be exciting. Fight in a walker. That would be all right. Hit them with my cane. Fake them out, have a fake heart attack, distract a zombie. I like it… All right, sir, the answer is yes.”
The stars seem to align in the terrifying night sky of the horror industry. With Raimi writing the script and Bruce Campbell coming back as the one-liner spouting, chainsaw wielding Ash Williams, there won’t be much stopping “Army of Darkness 2” from grasping a well deserved spot in my top five movies.