Rob was interviewed on the set of Ash vs Evil Dead. Here's a snippet of the article - please follow the link to read the full interview on Blastr.com
Will this series live in the same universe as Army of Darkness and Evil Dead?
Rob Tapert: The answer to that question is it doesn't really exist in the exact same universe. It's a slightly altered universe. It takes place somewhere in an alternate universe after Evil Dead 2. That might seem like a confusing answer, but that's the -- I don't want to spoil too much for the audience, but that's the truest answer I can give you ... We would be seeing similar locations, meaning it lives in a modern-day world with Ash battling evil in this era, the modern day. Ash went through that experience [of Army of Darkness], but we're not really referencing it in terms of we're not referencing specifics from that but he certainly has that in his memory.
Are we going to see updated designs of Deadites?
Rob Tapert: We certainly will play to what we once did with Deadites, even through the remake, but we're trying to expand the universe so the storytelling over the first 10 episodes ... we will encounter Deadites which are very different than other forces of evil out there. And then we will take the audience -- we'll expose the audience to new entities that were not yet presented in the Evil Dead universe, so that the audience is surprised.
How is Ash still sane? Why is he not just a total basket case at this point in his life?
Rob Tapert: Yes, he's no finer or nobler or saner of a character than when we last saw him. In fact, if anything, I think he's digressed. He's certainly aged quite a bit. And his courage hasn't been whipped up to a frenzy, let's put it that way. He's kind of sunk into some of his lowest -- all of our lowest instincts, and that's where we find him. And it's from that low point that I think our hero will have to be born. That's the start of our show.
I'm curious about sort of the writers' room and the scripts as they come together, how involved are each of you in breaking the stories and writing? And how many scripts have you actually gotten through so far?
Rob Tapert: I'm going to speak on everyone's behalf. So, Sam and his brother, Ivan, have been involved of the room every spare second until Sam got down here to start prepping. And the head writer has been down here the past couple of weeks, Craig DiGregorio, and we continue to talk through each of the episodes. We're exactly where we should be with the start of shooting. We've got, like, six scripts and some outlines in hand, so we're all very much involved in the creative process.
We've gotten some hints about what the story's about, but I'm wondering if it's going to be one big story?
Rob Tapert: You know, it is a serialized storytelling, since it's on premium cable, so there's an overarching plot. But each episode is still a self-contained story. The characters, themselves, are on a bigger journey, and therefore those who turn in every week will be rewarded, but the casual viewer can come in and out and kind of get what's going on. It's not as dense as other storytellings.
Can you talk about the new characters that are going to be populating in this world with Ash?
Rob Tapert: Ash, in this incarnation, has a team that forms around him. Pablo Simon Bolivar (Ray Santiago), is a young immigrant who wants to be part of the American fabric and forget his roots, and through his encounters with Ash and the Evil Dead, rediscovers what really is important to him. Another character in this is Dana DeLorenzo, who plays the character of Kelly. She is, I'm going to say, Pablo's love interest. She, at first, doesn't believe in Ash and wants nothing to do with him, but eventually becomes part of the team as they go about realizing that there is something greater at play in a series of Evil Dead-like attacks.
They are joined by Jill Marie Jones, who plays the part of Amanda Fisher, a Michigan State Police detective who sees something that she doesn't believe, and it causes her great problems in her profession. And she is on the trail to hunt down Ash because she believes that he is responsible for this series of bodies. Eventually, she teams up with Ruby, played by Lucy Lawless, who is -- she knows something about the Evil Dead and she also is on the hunt for Ash. And so kind of that is the core team over the first season. And there's many other side characters who come and go, but that's the core team for the first season.
You're all busy with so many different projects, so is this the kind of show that if Bruce left the show, and if each of you kind of decided to step back a little bit in your duties, could you see this show continuing on and perhaps the torch being passed to someone else creatively and on camera?
Rob Tapert: And I'll second that. Bruce has made some -- without giving any spoilers -- supreme sacrifices in order to bring back the character of Ash, and we are very appreciative of those sacrifices that he's made. It would be a joyless process that the mantle would be passed to anybody else. And I just don't see that as a possible outcome in this.