Sam Raimi-Produced Evil Dead Rise Begins Filming in New Zealand

Director Lee Cronin took to Twitter to reveal that production on New Line Cinema’s upcoming fifth installment to the Evil Dead franchise, Evil Dead Rise, has finally begun in New Zealand. The filming start comes after nearly two weeks since it was announced that New Line Cinema has officially boarded the Sam Raimi and Bruce Campbell-produced project, which has been in development since last year. Starring Australian actresses Alyssa Sutherland (Vikings) and Lily Sullivan (Picnic at Hanging Rock) as the new female leads of the long-running horror franchise, Evil Dead Rise is slated for an HBO Max release.

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Evil Dead Rise is expected to tell a modern-day urban horror film that will take the franchise out of its classic woods setting and into the city for the first time. It is being 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 Raimi, Campbell, Tapert, 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 previously said in a statement. “I am excited and humbled to be resurrecting the most iconic of evil forces for both the fans and a whole new generation.”

The next installment centers 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 wouldn’t have any ties to the previous films.

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Written and directed by Sam Raimi, The Evil Dead franchise began with 1981’s The Evil Dead and was then followed by two more sequels, 1987’s Evil Dead II and 1993’s Army of Darkness, which all 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. Director Fede Alverez directed a soft reboot of the first film, which served as the fourth installment to the film franchise.