When filmmaker Sam Raimi was developing the Quibi series 50 States of Fright, he knew he'd have to enlist a number of compelling storytellers to bring the series exploring local lore and legends to life, with one of the filmmakers he tapped being The Hole in the Ground director Lee Cronin. Through their collaborations for the episodes focusing on a Washington legend, "13 Steps to Hell," talk of a new Evil Dead film emerged, resulting in Raimi asking Cronin to tackle the next chapter in the iconic saga. Cronin recently detailed how supportive Raimi was of Cronin's vision for the saga.
"It was definitely a process, is the first thing I would say," Cronin shared with ComicBook.com about how he secured the coveted opportunity. "I've always been a fan. When I'm a fan of something, I would never consider ever wanting to do anything with it. I've always loved Evil Dead, I always thought it would be awesome to make an Evil Dead movie. I'd love to have a go if they were ever going to do something. So when Fede Alvarez's [reboot] came out in 2013, I was like, 'Goddamn. I wish that was me. I wish I could be the person that was doing that.'"
He continued, "I'm actually not as a writer/creator, especially with something in horror, I'm not like, 'This is what I would do.' I tend to not think that way about stuff. I approach original ideas from different places. My engagement with Sam, that was exciting, and we started to talk about Evil Dead, and he was probing at me and where my interest might lie, or would I be interested in taking a look at it. My initial instinct was like, not that it was in any way a 'no,' I was super excited, but I wasn't sure what I would do at that point. So I kind of appealed for a little bit of time to allow me to think and figure out where I would take it and what I might do with it. And that allowed me to think about it from a point of view of being a fan, but then also to let go of being a fan and come up with a great idea for a movie with a great set of characters and a great set of circumstances that would work with all the things that I know Evil Dead fans would love. So it was a process."
Not only did Cronin have to impress Raimi, but he also had to impress Rob Tapert, who served as a producer on all of the films, as well as Bruce Campbell, who starred in not only the films but also all three seasons of Ash vs. Evil Dead, who will serve as a producer on the new sequel.
"It certainly wasn't me meeting with Sam and going, 'I've got this in my back pocket and I've always been waiting to play this card,'" the filmmaker confessed. "I was just glad to meet with a filmmaker that has been inspirational to me and remains an inspiration to me to then have the opportunity, for him to give me the opportunity to think about what I would do. That was the really great part. And that sums up how Sam and Rob Tapert and Bruce work. They're really super supportive of your vision and your ideas, and that's really what they gave me. They gave me this space to go and figure out what to do and, I guess, thankfully, they saw something in my work that got them excited to allow me that freedom."
50 States of Fright explores stories based on urban legends from every state, taking viewers deeper into the horrors that lurk just beneath. This horror anthology series launched in the spring, showcasing stories from Michigan, Kansas, Oregon, Minnesota, and Florida. New tales will be released from Iowa, Washington, Colorado, and Missouri on a weekly basis.
In Cronin's episodes of the series, 13 Steps to Hell, "When a sister descends a strange underground stairwell adjacent to an overgrown Washington cemetery to retrieve her little brother's lost toy, she finds more than she bargained for at the bottom of the steps."0comments
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