Evil Dead Rise Could Get Theatrical Release After Positive Test Screenings

Bruce Campbell will forever be the champion of The Evil Dead, whether in his role as Ash Williams or ensuring the franchise continues to live on as a producer and contributor to the franchise. This fall, Evil Dead Rise will take the horror series to new heights, literally, as it changes the location of the Deadite terror from a cabin in the woods to a high-rise apartment block in suburbia. While Campbell will not be appearing on-screen in his role as Ash, he has been working behind the scenes on the movie, and recently he has revealed that test screenings have gone so well that the movie may not end up streaming straight to HBO Max as planned.

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Evil Dead Rise is a continuation of the franchise in spirit, with a brand-new set of characters discovering an ancient and cursed book in the basement of their apartment. Of course, it is not long before the evil entities brought forth by the book are unleashed, and the lead character of Beth (Lily Sullivan) is forced into a living nightmare with her sister Ellie and her three children in Los Angeles. Now, it looks like the Evil Dead could be rising above what anyone believed possible after a very positive reception during test screenings. Campbell told JoBlo.com:

“We just had a preview that went… That was very high ratings. They were potentially going to stream it on HBO Max, but it might go theatrical. Maybe in the fall.”

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Since first horrifying audiences in 1981, the Evil Dead has reinvented itself as a medieval nightmare in Army of Darkness, expanded the mythos of the franchise with the Ash vs. Evil Dead series and been reborn as a remake/reboot, as well as spawning numerous video games, books and comics. Now, along with Evil Dead Rise, Bruce Campbell recently revealed that talks have taken place to potentially bring the Evil Dead and Ash back again in animated form in a new series. He previously revealed:

“You can do the future a lot easier in animation. I still sound like Ash, and you know, my voice hasn’t been as beat up as my body has been so I can still do that crap. So I’ll still do the video game. And we’re already talking about an animated [series].”

While Ash Williams may not be returning in the flesh, Campbell has always suggested that he would be happy to reprise the role in voice only, which recently saw him returning for Evil Dead: The Game, which released earlier in the year. With a new movie, new comic series and potentially a new animated series all in the works, it is clear that the Evil Dead is not buried and gone just yet and will be continuing to wreak havoc on another generation of cinemagoers soon.

Evil Dead Rise will arrive on HBO Max at some point later in the year but could end up making a surprise theatrical run first.