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Evil Dead Rise cameo may have pathed the way for Bruce Campbell to return as Ash Williams…

May 1st, 2023 by Marc Comments

Man, the Evil Dead series has yet to miss with the latest installment, Evil Dead Rise, hitting all the high notes of the 2013 reboot as well as Raimi’s original gnarly Evil Dead and it even has some of the dark humour that made Evil Dead II such a classic, but as great as it is, there’s one thing missing.

Well… sort of missing.


During the events of Evil Dead Rise, Danny, played by Morgan Davies, stumbles across a collection of old records that, when played, have the voice of an old priest, going back maybe a century ago, in which he proposes translating the Necronomicon and in the background we hear a very familiar voice shouting “It’s called the Book of the Dead for a reason!”.

Fans will recognise that voice as none other than the legend that is Bruce Campbell, but most will also know him as Ash Willaims, the star of the first three Evil Dead movies and the Ash Vs Evil Dead TV series. And, I’m not going to lie, when I heard it, I wondered if it could possibly be Ash. The last time we saw him was in an apocalyptic future (again – fans will know) but could he have ended up a century in his own timeline’s past? Of course! Ash is no stranger to time travel thanks to the Book.

Bruce Campbell says an animated Evil Dead movie could happen and might we even see him back in live-action as Ash?

Now, the director of the new movie, Ireland’s own Lee Cronin, has addressed the cameo and if it is important:

“There is a Bruce Campbell cameo, and that cameo potentially is actually Ash Williams,” the filmmaker says.

“Think about how time works for Ash as a character, and that voice that you may hear is captured on something that was recorded 100 years ago. And the fact that his particular line is a warning showcases somebody that knows more than the other people in the room… I know that sounds very cryptic, but it’s supposed to.”

Supposed to, huh?

Evil Dead fans will recall that Fede Alvarez’s superb 2013 Evil Dead movie, while setting up Jane Levy’s Mia as the new face of the franchise, also features a cameo from Ash after the final credits.

So, is there a plan? Three separate Evil Dead worlds – we know that this is because there are three books as seen in Evil Dead: Army of Darkness – three Separate stories but is there a sort of Evil Dead Avengers on the way?

In a new interview, see video below, Cronin says he took the third book – Raimi had one book in the first three Evil Deads, Alvarez had another in his 2013 movie and now the third book is here in 2023 – is on a journey we know nothing about yet.

Bruce Campbell says the Evil Dead franchise has more to come… just without him

But what does this mean for the future? We know Campbell said he was done playing Ash but he has since reneged on that a little (I’ll get to that shortly) and I think we might yet see him at least once more.

Cronin says that if it happens, it’s way in the future but he has suggested to Sam Raimi that it might be fun to do an anthology movie with each director having a story set in their worlds where the stories come together at the end, adding: “I wouldn’t be shocked if something like that came together…”


At a recent Q&A at SXSW Raimi, Campbell and producer Rob Tapert took questions about the Evil Dead universe and where it is right now.

Addressing the 2013 movie, Tappert speaks to the fact that, although the movie is disconnected from Raimi’s movies for the most part, there are nods to them that may be pathing the way to something much, much bigger:  “In Fede’s mind, if you ask him, he did a remake, even though there’s an incongruity in there of the replica of the [Oldsmobile] Delta 88 covered in leaves at that cabin. So it’s a bit confusing. But what we want to do is bring back Bruce and Jane Levy [from the ’13 movie] and tie it in with this movie [Rise] and have the beginning of the ultimate showdown. But Bruce is standing in the way.”

However, while Campbell has retired, he is now saying he will come back… but under one condition: “If Sam says, ‘I, Sam Raimi, will direct another Evil Dead movie,’ then I, Bruce Campbell, will consider being in it. I don’t want to be Ash, tended to by other people. Sam’s the meanest director I’ve ever worked with, and Ash needs a little bit of that to shine and I think Sam’s the only director now who I won’t punch in the face making an Evil Dead movie! I’m just saying, I’ve called Rob and Sam out, I’m not the coward that they think I am; I just want the right circumstances. Because Sam, even though he’s done studio movies, he’s still a good director! So, I want Sam! I’ll do it for Sam.”

Evil Dead Rise director reveals Army of Darkness connection to explain third Necronomicon

So, will Raimi come back? Last time he directed was in 2009 for Drag Me To Hell, but he is up for once more around the block: “I’d like to direct another horror picture. I’m looking for another good horror script to make right now,” he says… to me, this all sounds like the stars are starting to align for the Evil Dead Avengers to come together with, perhaps, that creator at the helm.

But will be have long to wait for more Evil Dead [even if it’s not the one with all three heroes?]: “We’re going to try and do them more like every two or three years rather than every 10 years,” Campbell has said in anew interview.

“It’s also the first time Sam is working with his brother Ivan to create an overall Bible that will give future writers and directors an idea of where this thing should go next to potentially tie in some of these stories. So I think it’s going to get a little more tied in as the years go by but because it’s all about the books. It could be a book in the past, a book in the future, it’s yet to be determined,” Campbell adds.

We know that Evil Dead Rise was made for a tiny budget as it was originally meant to be made for streaming and, as I write, it’s well on the way to making $100m, so there’s going to be a lot more Deadite action in the future and, if there’s a ‘Bible’ of sorts being put together, than we can expect that everything will be more connected and might even, eventually, end up with Ash, Mia and Rise’s Beth, played by Lily Sullivan, meeting and going to war against the hordes of hell.

And I’m here for it all.

Sources: Insider, Fangoria & AV Club,

Marc is a self-confessed nerd. Ever since seeing Star Wars for the first time around 1979 he’s been an unapologetic fan of the Wars and still believes, with Clone Wars and now Underworld, we are yet to see the best Star Wars. He’s a dad of two who now doesn’t have the time (or money) to collect the amount of toys, comics, movies and books he once did, much to the relief of his long-suffering wife. In the real world he’s a graphic designer. He started Following the Nerd because he was tired of searching a million sites every day for all the best news that he loves and decided to create one place where you can go to get the whole lot. Secretly he longs to be sitting in the cockpit of his YT-1300 Corellian Transport ship with his co-pilot Chewie, roaming the universe, waiting for his next big adventure, but feels just at home watching cartoons with his kids….