Bruce Campbell Releases Official Statement About Retiring From 'Evil Dead' Franchise

For the better part of four decades and across various mediums, actor Bruce Campbell has been intrinsically linked with the Evil Dead franchise, the series that helped launch both his and director Sam Raimi's career. Sadly, the cancellation of the Starz series Ash vs. Evil Dead has signified that the actor is leaving the character of Ash J. Williams behind for good, taking to his Facebook account to offer his sincere thanks to all the love the character has gotten over the years.

“Good people, Evil Dead fans everywhere, I bid you a heartfelt farewell playing Ash – the character I took acting lessons with for 39 years. I am hereby retiring from that portrayal. It’s time. I followed Ash from his formative years thru his mid-life crisis and decline. What a thrill! What a privilege!

We had a great resurgence with the help of Starz (kudos not jeers, folks). They made it possible for 15 more hours of Evil Dead-ness in your life – the equivalent of 10 more features!

Is Ash dead? Never. Ash is as much a concept as a person. Where there is evil in this world, there must be one to counter – man or woman, it matters not.

Thanks for watching.

Love, Bruce.”

The actor's comments about the character over the last few months have been interesting, as fans have been getting slightly conflicting messages.

When ComicBook.com spoke with the actor at New York Comic Con, which you can see in the video above, Campbell hinted that he would play Ash until he was dead, or rather that no other actor would embrace the role while Campbell was still alive. His comments in the Facebook post, on the other hand, imply that another person, man or woman, could potentially become Ash, or at least symbolically represent Ash.

Prior to the debut of Season 3 of Ash vs. Evil Dead, Campbell had even hinted that a big screen adventure could be in the cards for his character, while he is now saying he is officially moving on from the series without the show continuing. It's possible that his enthusiasm for the character has waned as Season 3 has been getting underwhelming ratings, confirming that the actor was ready to move on from the series.

Another factor in the equation is that, based on the series' mythology, Ash was considered the "Chosen One," so while he's been the most important character throughout the existence of the franchise, a new Chosen One could emerge that would allow Ash to exit the saga permanently.

You can catch the seemingly final appearance of Ash this Sunday in the Ash vs. Evil Dead series finale at 9 p.m. ET on Starz.

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[H/T Facebook, Bruce Campbell]