2013’s Evil Dead Gave The B-Movie Horror Franchise Mainstream Success

Raimi, Tapert, and Campbell revisited Ash and the Deadites a couple of times over the years. First in 1987 with “Evil Dead II,” which was far more comedic in tone, and once again in 1993 with “Army of Darkness,” which took things in a radically different direction and embraced the camp in a sword and sorcery style adventure. But “Army” didn’t perform particularly well ($21 million box office/$11 million budget), leaving the series dead in the water for a long, long time. Then, in the early 2000s, talk of a remake began cropping up here and there.

Yet, as late as 2008, things weren’t looking particularly great on that front. “The feedback from the fans was 90 percent negative. It’s going nowhere. The remake has fizzled fast at Sam’s company,” Campbell said speaking to Fangoria Radio at the time. However, things changed and, in 2011 during a Reddit AMA, Campbell confirmed that the remake (or what everyone thought was going to be a remake) was actually happening. “We are remaking Evil Dead. The script is awesome,” the actor said before adding, “The remake’s gonna kick some ass — you have my word.”

Raimi hand-picked Fede Alvarez for the job, with only a couple of shorts to the filmmaker’s name at the time. Now, he was going to have the chance to bring a highly influential classic to the masses. No pressure. Alvarez wrote the initial draft of the screenplay alongside his friend and frequent collaborator Rodo Sayagues. Though, oddly enough, Diablo Cody of “Juno” fame did a rewrite of the script, mainly because Alvarez and Sayagues didn’t speak English as their first language. Ultimately, they were given official credit along with Raimi. “I did a draft. I did like a polish slash rewrite on the pre-existing, excellent script by Fede Alvarez,” Cody said to Collider in 2011.

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