Ash vs. Evil Dead: Bruce Campbell Says "All the Good Work is Going to TV"


When Ash vs. Evil Dead debuts on Starz this weekend, it'll mark the return to form for creator Sam Raimi and star Bruce Campbell. Campbell sat down with, triumphantly proclaiming, "we're back!" with clear enthusiasm for the show.

"Having the great Sam Raimi as our tour guide again, he tells you where you need to be," Campbell said of returning. They shot the pilot almost entirely in chronological order - a necessity thanks to a lot of set destruction - and that made it easier for him to slide back into the role.

The actor revels in Ash being an unlikely hero, an "anti-hero," and said the "throughline" is simply that "he's an idiot. It's not that he's stupid, but he's an idiot. An idiot does dumb things." He holds onto the character that way, and that plays into his unlikely ability to save the world.

Having two sidekicks along for the ride means "now he has to talk," Campbell said with a laugh. They each bring out something different in him. "It's what I like in the dichotomy, Ash is saying things that he's not even aware that he's being offensive. It's his reality."

Campbell and Raimi have had constant pressure to "make another movie, make another movie." He said, "Sam's like, 'I made all these Spider-Man movies!'" and the fans say, "'Make another Evil Dead movie!'" He's had the same problem. "Same with me, I'm on Burn Notice, #1 show on cable for years, what do they want? Another Evil Dead movie."

But when they looked into actually continuing Ash's tale, they quickly pushed it to television.

"Television is changing," the actor said. "All the good work is going to television. And everyone's a producer now! You're not just showing other people's movies now on AMC or Starz. They smartened up and said, 'Hey, we gotta make our own shows!'" He said that shift, plus companies like Netflix and Amazon getting into the mix, has been good for those who want to make their own product. "It's good for us schmoes, because it means that there's more work out there!"

So, Campbell and producer Rob Tapert, both having just finished projects, pitched Raimi the idea of going to TV with Evil Dead. "With features you have one weekend to Burger King tie-in your way to glory. If that doesn't work, the franchise is dead!" He noted that the remake they made a couple years ago "seemed to be what fans wanted, but it was close but no cigar." The other aspect is the international fandom, Campbell said, which really helped the pitch.

Watch the full interview above, and check out the premiere of Ash vs Evil Dead on Saturday, October 31, 2015 only on Starz.