Starz Raises the Dead - Network Reteams Sam Raimi, Bruce Campbell
and Rob Tapert for a New TV Series Based on Their Classic Horror Film
The Evil Dead
Raimi to Direct First Episode of New Series, "Ash Vs. Evil Dead"
Bruce Campbell to Star as Title Character, Ash
BEVERLY HILLS, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--
Starz announced today the greenlight of the network's next original
series, the long-awaited follow-up to the classic horror film franchise The
Evil Dead. The project reteams the original filmmakers, director Sam
Raimi, with longtime producing partner Rob Tapert and star Bruce
The STARZ Original series officially titled "Ash Vs. Evil Dead" will be
10 half-hour episodes. Bruce Campbell will be reprising his role as Ash,
the stock boy, aging lothario and chainsaw-handed monster hunter who has
spent the last 30 years avoiding responsibility, maturity and the
terrors of the Evil Dead. When a Deadite plague threatens to destroy all
of mankind, Ash is finally forced to face his demons -personal and
literal. Destiny, it turns out, has no plans to release the unlikely
hero from its "Evil" grip.
"Starz first worked with Sam and Rob on 'Spartacus,' and we are thrilled
to be back in business with them," said Carmi Zlotnik, Managing Director
of Starz. "With Sam writing and directing and Bruce Campbell returning
to the screen, we are certain the show will give Evil Dead fans
around the world the fix they've been craving."
"Evil Dead has always been a blast. Bruce, Rob and I are thrilled
to have the opportunity to tell the next chapter in Ash's lame, but
heroic saga. With his chainsaw arm and his 'boomstick,' Ash is back to
kick some monster butt. And brother, this time there's a truckload of
it," said Sam Raimi.
"I'm really excited to bring this series to the Evil Dead fans
worldwide - it's going to be everything they have been clamoring for:
serious deadite ass-kicking and plenty of outrageous humor," said Bruce
"STARZ has always been a great creative partner and we are excited to be
working with them on this project," said Robert Tapert.
Raimi will direct the first episode. "Ash Vs. Evil Dead" was written by
Sam Raimi, Ivan Raimi (Darkman, Army of Darkness, Drag Me to Hell)
and Tom Spezialy ("Chuck," "Reaper," "Desperate Housewives"). Sam Raimi
will also serve as executive producer, along with Rob Tapert (Evil
Dead, "Spartacus," Xena: Warrior Princess") and Bruce Campbell (Evil
Dead, "Burn Notice"). Ivan Raimi will Co-Executive Produce and Aaron
Lam ("Spartacus") will serve as producer.
The original Evil Dead film followed Ash and his friends
who travel to a cabin in the woods, where they unknowingly release
demons intent on possessing the living. The film became an international
success and is critically lauded to this day as one of the best horror
movies of all time. It also spawned a media franchise, including two
sequels, as well as video games and comic books and a recent reboot that
grossed $97 million worldwide.
"Ash Vs. Evil Dead" project was packaged by CAA and Craig Jacobson at
Hansen, Jacobson, Teller, Hoberman, Newman, Warren, Richman, Rush &
Kaller. Marta Fernandez will serve as the executive in charge at Starz.
The series will air on STARZ in 2015.
Starz will retain all domestic and international multiplatform rights
including television, home entertainment, and digital.
Sam Raimi Bio
Sam Raimi has directed one the industry's most successful film
franchises ever--the blockbuster Spider-Man trilogy, which has
grossed over $2.5 billion at the global box office. All three films
reside in the industry's top 30 highest grossing domestic pictures of
In addition to the franchise's commercial success, Spider-Man
(2002) won that year's People's Choice Award as Favorite Motion Picture,
earned a pair of Oscar® nominations (for VFX and sound) and also
collected two GRAMMY® nominations (for Best Score and Chad Kroeger's
song "Hero"). Spider-Man 2 (2004) won the Academy Award® for Best
Visual Effects (with two more nominations for Best Sound and Sound
Editing) and two BAFTA nominations (for VFX and sound), among dozens of
Most recently, Raimi is known for directing Oz the Great and the
Powerful, starring James Franco, Mila Kunis, Michelle Williams, and
Rachel Weisz. A prequel to one of Hollywood's most beloved stories, the
film grossed just under $500 million dollars globally and reinvigorated
the world's love for the L. Frank Baum series.
Apart from creating one of Hollywood's landmark film series, Raimi's
eclectic resume includes the gothic thriller The Gift, starring
Cate Blanchett, Hilary Swank, Keanu Reeves, Greg Kinnear and Giovanni
Ribisi; the acclaimed suspense thriller A Simple Plan, which
starred Bill Paxton, Billy Bob Thornton and Bridget Fonda (for which
Thornton earned an Academy Award® nomination for Best Supporting Actor
and Scott B. Smith landed a nomination for Best Adapted Screenplay); his
baseball homage, For Love of the Game, with Kevin Costner and
Kelly Preston; the western The Quick and the Dead, starring
Leonardo DiCaprio, Sharon Stone, Russell Crowe and Gene Hackman; and the
supernatural thriller, Drag Me to Hell, with Alison Lohman and
Raimi began his career in his native Michigan after directing his own
Super 8 movies as a teenager. He left his studies at Michigan State
University to form Renaissance Pictures with future producer Rob Tapert
and their longtime friend, actor Bruce Campbell, with whom he made his
very first film, Within the Woods, a short horror film they used
to raise money to make a feature. That resulting horror classic, The
Evil Dead (1982), financed and produced with investments from local
business people and doctors, became a hit at the 1982 Cannes Film
Festival and spawned a sequel, Evil Dead 2: Dead By Dawn (1987),
which, like the original, showcased Raimi's inventive, imaginative
direction and offbeat humor.
Raimi next turned to the fantasy genre, writing and directing the comic
book-inspired Darkman (1990), starring Liam Neeson and Frances
McDormand, then followed with 1993's Army of Darkness, a comic
sword and sorcery fantasy starring Bruce Campbell.
The mid-'90s also found Raimi producing two telefilms (with friend and
partner Tapert) that would become the genesis of a pair of highly
popular syndicated series--"Hercules: The Legendary Journeys" (on which
he served as executive producer during the program's four-year run) and
the successful companion series, "Xena: Warrior Princess" which aired
from 1995-2001. His television work also includes executive producing
the CBS series "American Gothic" and the STARZ graphic sword and sandals
Raimi's work has also been a favorite on the film festival circuit, with
the filmmaker winning a Best Director honor for Darkman at the
1990 Sitges-Catalonian Festival in Spain; the Critics Award for Army
of Darkness at the 1992 Fantasporto Festival in Portugal; the Golden
Raven, also for Army of Darkness, at the 1992 Brussels
International Festival; and a Grand Prize nomination for the same title
at the Avoriaz Fantastic Film Festival in France. Raimi has also won the
Saturn Award twice (Spider-Man 2 and Drag Me to Hell) from
the Academy of Science Fiction, Horror and Fantasy.
Rob Tapert Bio
Rob Tapert is the longstanding producing partner of acclaimed director
Sam Raimi. Tapert and Raimi have been working together since they met
at Michigan State University where they formed the Society for Creative
Film Making. After producing the horror cult classic The Evil
Dead, Tapert continued to collaborate with Raimi on Evil Dead II:
Dead by Dawn, Darkman and Army of Darkness.
Tapert went on to serve as executive producer on the action features Hard
Target and Timecop, starring Jean-Claude Van Damme.
He also executive produced the long running worldwide sensation TV
series "Hercules: The Legendary Journeys" and "Xena: Warrior
Following success in television he returned to features to executive
produce Raimi's suspense thriller The Gift, starring Cate
Blanchett and Keanu Reeves and the action western The Quick and
the Dead, starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Sharon Stone and Gene Hackman.
In 2002, Tapert and Raimi formed Ghost House Pictures with Mandate
Pictures. Ghost House was conceived to produce feature films that would
deliver great scares and offer horror fans a thrill ride experience.
Tapert has since produced a string of #1 box office hits that started
with The Grudge, which grossed $187 million world wide, and
continued with Boogeyman, The Messengers, 30 Days of Night, The
Possession and Evil Dead. In 2009, Tapert produced
Raimi's first directorial effort under Ghost House: the critically
acclaimed Drag Me To Hell. Tapert recently produced "Spartacus" for
STARZ. He's currently producing the remake of Poltergeist for
MGM and Fox 2000.
Bruce Campbell Bio
In 1979 with his Detroit friends, Sam Raimi and Rob Tapert, Campbell
raised $350,000 for a low-budget film, The Evil Dead, in which he
starred and co-executive produced. Completed piecemeal over four years,
the film first gained notoriety in England where it became the
best-selling video of 1983, beating out The Shining. After its
appearance at Cannes, where Stephen King dubbed it "the most ferociously
original horror film of the year," New Line Cinema stepped forward to
release The Evil Dead in the U.S. After co-producing Crimewave,
a cross-genre comedy written by Sam Raimi, Ethan and Joel Coen, Campbell
moved to Los Angeles and quickly gained a foothold producing or starring
in genre films such as the Maniac Cop series, Lunatics: A Love
Story, Moontrap and Mindwarp, a post-apocalyptic Jeremiah
Johnson, during which he met his wife-to-be, filmmaker, Ida Gearon.
Campbell then rejoined his Detroit colleagues to star and co-produce the
second and third films in the The Evil Dead trilogy, completing
12 years of work on the cult favorite. This rough-and-tumble background
was a plus as Campbell made his foray into television, first starring in
the highly touted Fox series "The Adventures Of Brisco County Jr.," then
as a recurring guest-star on the hit show "Lois and Clark: The New
Adventures of Superman."
With these under his belt, Campbell easily made the transition to
director, helming numerous episodes and recurring as the "King of
Thieves" in the #1 syndicated "Hercules: The Legendary Journeys" and its
follow-up phenomenon, "Xena: Warrior Princess."
Bruce has since expanded his range on television, with appearances in
Disney's TV movies "Gold Rush," and their update of "The Love Bug." He
teamed up with Fox again for the hit TV film "Tornado!" and starred in
NBC's top-rated "In The Line of Duty: Blaze of Glory." Following
decidedly dramatic turns on the acclaimed series "Homicide: Life on the
Street" and "The X-Files," he enjoyed a recurring role on Showtime's
edgy TV industry comedy, "Beggars and Choosers."
At the invitation of ABC, Campbell ventured into the world of sitcoms
with a recurring role on ABC's Emmy-nominated "Ellen," participating in
one of the three touted "out" episodes.
But Campbell didn't abandon his film roots. During that time, he had
featured roles in the blockbuster Congo, John Carpenter's Escape
From LA, and the award-winning independent crime drama, Running
Time. He followed these up with roles in Paramount's romantic
comedy, Serving Sara, Jim Carrey's The Majestic, and all
three of Sam Raimi's blockbuster Spider-Man movies.
After a return to episodic television in the swashbuckling series "Jack
of All Trades," Campbell took the title role in MGM's cult sleeper Bubba
Ho-tep. His directorial debut, "Man with the Screaming Brain"
premiered on the Sci Fi Channel, and Dark Horse Comics published the
Campbell has since made the leap into other forms of entertainment, and
is enjoying his role as an author with back-to-back
New York Times bestsellers: a memoir entitled If Chins
Could Kill: Confessions of a B Movie Actor, and his first novel,
Make Love the Bruce Campbell Way.
In the multi-media industry, Campbell provided voices on cutting edge
video games for Activision, THQ and Nova Logic - and he also enjoyed
voicing characters for Disney's animated TV series Tarzan and the
Warner Brothers feature The Ant Bully. He also voiced the
character of Mayor Shelbourne in the animated hit film Cloudy With a
Chance of Meatballs. In 2011, Campbell voiced the role of Rod Torque
Redline in Cars 2, the sequel to the smash Disney animated
Most recently, Campbell directed and starred as himself in My Name is
Bruce, a spoof of his B-movie career, then re-teamed with Disney for
their fun-filled hit, Sky High.
In 2013, Bruce Co-Produced the hit remake of Evil Dead, joined
his filmmaking pal Sam Raimi on Oz, The Great and Powerful,
and completed an impressive seven-year run on spy show Burn Notice,
USA's #1 show on cable.
Campbell continues to share his acting and filmmaking experiences by
lecturing at universities, including Northwestern, Carnegie Mellon and
He currently resides with his wife, Ida Gearon, in Oregon.
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