Evil Dead 4’s new director is confirmed. Since 1981, filmmaker Sam Raimi has been delighting horror fans with his gory and often hilarious Evil Dead series. Seen as one of the most iconic horror franchises of all time, things somewhat unofficially came to a close with the theatrical release of 1992’s Army of Darkness.
Evil Dead fans are a persistent bunch, however, and hope was not lost that eventually, Raimi would get inspired once again to bring back Ash (Bruce Campbell) and treat the world to a fresh round of brutal demon slaying. There was a palpable sense of excitement back in 2011 when it started to become clear that a new Evil Dead film was on its way, though by the time the film was released in 2013, it was clear to all who cared that it wouldn’t be an Evil Dead sequel, but a remake of the original. It was a big disappointment to those who maintained that the world needed an Evil Dead 4, despite the fact that the Evil Dead remake (which was directed by Fede Alvarez, rather than Raimi), was quite good. In an effort to give fans some of what they wanted, Raimi and Campbell teamed up for the rather short-lived Ash vs. Evil Dead series on Starz, but as great as it was, fans still remained desperate for an official fourth installment in the venerable horror film series.
Thankfully, the persistence and patience of fans has finally paid off, as Evil Dead 4 is officially on its way. Recently, Campbell revealed that the fourth film will be called Evil Dead Now and that up and coming horror filmmaker Lee Cronin will be taking on the film’s directorial duties. Now that the news has been made official, Cronin decided to play his part and confirm his status as Evil Dead Now’s director. In a message via his Twitter account, Cronin acknowledged that “the cat is outta the bag”, before referencing one of the franchise’s most disturbing demons, Henrietta:
I guess the cat is outta the bag. Or, is Henrietta out of the fruit cellar? Touched by all the kind words and warm wishes. Thank you! Humbled to collaborate with the legends that are Sam Raimi, @robtapert and @GroovyBruce on a new chapter in the Evil Dead universe. #EvilDead pic.twitter.com/1MQh9oMxNo— Lee Cronin (@curleecronin) June 9, 2020
Though Cronin is far from a household name at this point, his 2019 debut feature The Hole in The Ground premiered at the Sundance Film Festival and continued to perform well on the festival circuit. Even the most cursory of looks at the film’s trailer makes it clear why Raimi chose Cronin for Evil Dead 4. The filmmaker’s style embodies much of what Evil Dead has always been – brooding, dark and suspenseful, though it remains to be seen if Cronin will imbue Evil Dead Now with the same degree of tongue in cheek humor that Raimi has become known for over the years. Nonetheless, Evil Dead fans should rest easy that the franchise appears to be in good hands at this point, because if Raimi won’t direct, a filmmaker like Cronin is the next best thing. At present there still isn’t a complete synopsis of the upcoming film’s plot, but it reportedly won’t take up where Army of Darkness left off, feature a female lead and, as previously noted, Campbell won’t be taking part.
With the announcement of Cronin’s promotion to director of Evil Dead 4, a new era for the franchise has arguably begun. Campbell has stated that going forward, each new installment of the series will be its own entity, rather than carrying forth what came before. This is an interesting concept for a series that has previously been so deeply rooted in the battle faced by Ash, and it remains to be seen if fans will take to it. However, as Cronin appears to be fully capable of exploring this sort of horror filmmaking, Evil Dead Now could be just what the franchise needed.