New Line Cinema and Sam Raimi have officially announced their new partnership for the upcoming fifth installment to the Evil Dead franchise titled Evil Dead Rise, which is currently being developed to be released on HBO Max. Set to shoot in New Zealand, the project was first confirmed last year, with executive producer and franchise star Bruce Campbell teasing that it will be a modern-day urban Evil Dead film that will take the horror story out of the woods and into the city.
“I’m thrilled to bring Evil Dead back to its original home at New Line 40 years after the release of the first film,” Raimi said in a statement (via Deadline). “The company’s history as pioneers of horror speaks for itself. I’m equally excited to be working with Lee Cronin, whose gifts as a storyteller make him the ideal filmmaker to continue the enduring legacy of the franchise.”
In addition, it has also been revealed that Australian actresses Alyssa Sutherland (Vikings) and Lily Sullivan (Picnic at Hanging Rock) have been cast for the leading roles in director Lee Cronin’s Evil Dead Rise. The first film’s executive producer Robert Tapert is also returning to the franchise and is set to produce the new sequel. Despite appearing in all previous films as well as leading the Ash vs. Evil Dead series, Campbell will not be starring in this new installment.
Campbell added, “At its core, Evil Dead is about ordinary people overcoming extraordinarily terrifying situations. I can’t wait for Alyssa and Lily to fill the blood-soaked shoes of those who have come before them and carry on that tradition.”
The next installment to the Evil Dead films will be written and directed by The Hole In The Ground filmmaker Lee Cronin, who was handpicked by franchise creator Sam Raimi, Bruce Campbell, and Robert Tapert. Executive producers are Romel Adam, John Keville, and Macdara Kelleher
“The Evil Dead movies filled my brain with terror and awe when I first saw them at nine years old,” Cronin said. “I am excited and humbled to be resurrecting the most iconic of evil forces for both the fans and a whole new generation.”
Richard Brener, President and Chief Creative Officer, New Line Cinema added, “New Line has a proud history of involvement in some of the most influential and enduring horror films of all time, and the original The Evil Dead was a landmark moment for the Studio. The movie transformed the genre and with each new installment, Sam, Rob, and Bruce have continued to raise the bar. It’s exciting to have them back in the fold for Evil Dead Rise after all these years, especially as they bring with them an immense talent in director Lee Cronin. His inventive spirit and his reverence for the franchise make him the perfect director to unleash Evil Dead once again.”
Evil Dead Rise will center around the twisted tale of two estranged sisters, whose reunion is cut short by the rise of flesh-possessing demons, thrusting them into a primal battle for survival as they face the most nightmarish version of family imaginable. Campbell previously confirmed that the upcoming film won’t have any ties to the previous films.
The Evil Dead franchise began with 1981’s The Evil Dead and was followed by 1987’s Evil Dead II and 1993’s Army of Darkness which were all written and directed by Sam Raimi and centered on Bruce Campbell’s Ash Williams. The original trilogy had amassed a massive cult following that spawn into video games, stage musicals, and a comedy horror series titled Ash vs. Evil Dead which ran on-air from 2015-2018. In 2013, the fourth installment to film franchise was introduced with Fede Alvarez’s 2013 soft reboot of Raimi’s 1981 film which now revolves around a female protagonist.