New York Comic Con 2012: Evil Dead Panel Report

Bruce Campbell passes the chainsaw to Jane Levy for next year’s remake of the cult classic.

Blair Marnellby Blair Marnell

“As middle aged filmmakers now, we realize that maybe it’s too late to strap on that chainsaw one more time.”

Those were the words spoken by Bruce Campbell — the star of the original Evil Dead trilogy — shortly after taking the stage at the New York Comic Con earlier today.

The very vocal disagreement from fans in the audience soon turned into cheers which seemed to indicate that the crowd would be more than up for a return appearance of Campbell’s onscreen alter ego, Ashley J, Williams aka the Chosen One.

“Alright, thanks for helping me decide,” related Campbell before sarcastically adding “there will be an Evil Dead 4 after all.”

“The point is… that it’s time to give these people what they want. They want a new experience done with handsome young…  hot thespians being covered with new buckets of blood with a new vision director… handpicked by Sam Raimi himself… You will be the judge of it, but we did not screw you over on this movie.”

Campbell appeared on this panel as one of the producers of the new Evil Dead remake alongside director Fede Alvarez; the star of the film, Jane Levy and moderator Dalton Ross of Entertainment Weekly.

While Levy’s character will be named Mia in the Evil Dead remake, Campbell was unambiguous in his support of her.

“If you need me to crown her the ‘new’ Ash, I’ll put that crown on my f***ing self!”

Levy conveyed that she sought out a role in the remake, but Campbell warned her of what was coming during the audition process.

“Bruce was like ‘do you know what it feels like to be buried alive? Do you know what it feels like to have tubes stuck down your throat so you can projectile vomit on people?’ I was like ‘no, but I’m really excited.”

When Ross referenced the kinds of things that Levy would possibly be put through in the movie, she added “maybe or maybe not tree rape;” which refers to one of the more controversial scenes within the first Evil Dead film.

Alvarez revealed that his involvement with the film came as a surprise to him. “I was starting to develop another project with Sam,” recalled Alvarez. “Out of the blue he skyped me and said ‘Hey Fede, do you want to remake Evil Dead for me?’”

“If there are any young filmmakers out there in the crowd… if you want to make a film and Sam Raimi asks you that, you don’t go ‘No thank you, I don’t believe in remakes,’” continued Alvarez. “You go ‘f*** yeah!’ And you go and try to make the best remake you could ever make. That’s how it happened.”

Late in the panel, Campbell acknowledged that the idea of a female protagonist for the remake originated with Alverez.

“It’s based on Fede’s script,” recalled Campbell. “It was his take on which characters do what and it just sort of fell that way. In the original super 8 movie we used to raise money for the original Evil Dead — it was called Within The Woods — and that had a female protagonist which is actually more traditional. Having a man as the protagonist screaming like a woman was a little different. Now we have a woman screaming like a man. Slightly different.”

Campbell also addressed screenwriter Diablo Cody’s contributions to the new Evil Dead.

“As middle aged men, we don’t really know how young people talk,” quipped Campbell. “Oh and she won a f***ing Academy Award. Sorry, I forgot that little detail… She was also writing for a female protagonist.”

“It was time for something fresh,” continued Campbell. “It’s nice to make a movie where you don’t see the green garden hose spewing the s*** out. That’s all we wanted to do… Look, we’ve got some really talented people who really worked their ass off on this movie. I really want you to see it because I know a lot of you fans were pissed when you heard about the remake. Don’t think I didn’t read about it every single time.”

To the audience’s amusement, Campbell added “‘No… you f***ing a**hole! You f***ed it up!’ Just wait and see the movie. I swear to God. And I will accept all of your collective apologies on the Monday after this movie opens.”

“Even though I make fun of you fans relentlessly, we do not want to screw this up,” said Campbell. “We want to make you happy horror film-goers and these two geniuses [Alvarez and Levy] made it happen. So get ready, it’s coming in April!”