The Evil Dead Rise director teases a connection between the new Necronomicon Ex-Mortis and the rest of the franchise. The movie is the fifth theatrical installment in the Evil Dead series, which debuted in 1981 and gave rise to a trilogy with Bruce Campbell as the chainsaw-wielding protagonist Ashley J. Williams that lasted until 1993’s Army of Darkness. Following that movie, Jane Levy starred in a 2013 remake before Campbell made a comeback for the three-season TV series Ash vs. Evil Dead on Starz. A family is torn apart by demonic possession in an L.A. apartment building in the upcoming movie, Evil Dead Rise, which will be released in theaters on April 21.
In a recent interview with director Lee Cronin, Empire had the chance to talk about the recently released Evil Dead Rise trailer. They talked about how the Necronomicon Ex-Mortis, which serves as the franchise’s primary Book of the Dead, now has a new look. While every movie in the series has a unique design for the book, he said that because the books “all have slightly different personalities,” he specifically told original trilogy director Sam Raimi that he wanted his movie to use the only unused Necronomicon of the three seen in Army of Darkness. Below is his complete quote:
“In one of the early meetings I had with Sam Raimi, I said, “You know the way in Army Of Darkness, there’s three [Necronomicons]? You had one, [Evil Dead 2013 director] Fede [Alvarez] had one, I’m going to take the other one.”
“It gave me that platform to nudge things forward, and also to showcase that we live in a world where there is more than one copy of the Necronomicon. Those books may all have slightly different personalities – it’s not exactly the same book, necessarily, that Ash had in the cabin. But it’s very, very firmly related. It could even be more dangerous…”
There Has Always Been A Loose Continuity In The Evil Dead Films
Many fans have questioned what version of the universe Evil Dead Rise takes place in because of the series’ convoluted and frequently perplexing chronology. Despite Campbell’s brief appearance in a disjointed post-credits scene in the 2013 remake, that movie largely presented a different conception of the cosmology of the demonic entities than the first trilogy. The Necronomicon’s appearance and how it works appear to hew closer to the original films, even though the new movie appears to emulate the remake in terms of its intense violence.
But separating the remake from the original trilogy is not an easy task in and of itself. The book recognized as the Naturom Demonto, which was also featured in the 2013 remake, is the book that is featured in the 1981 original of The Evil Dead rather than the Necronomicon. In fact, it has been argued that each movie in the original trilogy essentially reboots the one before it, drawing on ideas from the prior narrative to create Ash’s new backstory.
Over the years, numerous other iconic elements of the Evil Dead series have undergone comparable reworkings or retcons. For instance, Ash’s employment at the S-Mart department store wasn’t revealed until Army of Darkness, even though Ash vs. Evil Dead continued to use that information. Fans will be pleased to learn that Cronin intends to directly utilize the Army of Darkness mythology even while having taken the story in a slightly different direction because of the looseness of the franchise’s canon and the fact that Evil Dead Rise has much more leeway.