Perhaps the biggest revelation in Campbell’s interview with Dread Central is that Sam Raimi will direct the pilot episode of Ash vs. Evil Dead, using a script he wrote alongside brother Ivan Raimi (Army of Darkness), Tom Spezialy, and Craig DiGregorio (who will also serve as the series’ showrunner). Not only is Campbell returning as the chainsaw-wielding Ashley J. Williams, but he’s also an executive producer alongside DiGregorio and Rob Tapert.
In his continuing adventures of busting up Deadites, Ash will be joined by two new sidekicks, played by Ray Santiago (Girlfight, Meet the Fockers) and Dana DeLorenzo (A Very Harold & Kumar 3D Christmas). Campbell said this version of the character is “feisty,” a man who is “grizzled and just wants to be left alone.” Makes sense given the current circumstances of Ash’ life as he continues saving the world from the threat of demonic evil:
We are introduced to a nomadic Ash, a figure who’s not only haunted by traumatic memories but also terrorized by the unwelcome continuance of Deadite attacks, which have followed him to the myriad Midwestern trailer parks he’s been forced to call home. In an effort to eke out an existence and in keeping with his previous choice of career, the character spends his days working at Ted’s Superclub as a stock room trainee and, in true Ash fashion, his evenings chasing skirt in roadside bars.
Campbell also noted that his undead enemies will be much more of a believable threat than those corpses on The Walking Dead, which Starz sees as the show’s direct competition. “We are competitive with The Walking Dead, like, ‘We’ll show those fuckers!’ [Our] Deadites are very clever. They not stupid shufflers. They can mimic people; they can drive cars. They’re a fun threat.”
Principal photography is set to begin this April in New Zealand, with a planned air date for Halloween 2015. Already, Raimi and Campbell have enough material cooked up for several additional seasons: “It’s an epic tale,” Campbell explained. “How could you not [plan for that]? I’m a strong proponent of the ‘big picture’ plan, and we are planning for five seasons.”