While many horror fans are loving the new Evil Dead movie, Evil Dead Rise, the lack of Ash Williams is nevertheless leaving some missing the chainsaw-wielding character. Portrayed by Bruce Campbell in the original Evil Dead film from 1981, Campbell would return as Ash in the movie sequels Evil Dead 2: Dead by Dawn in 1987 and Army of Darkness in 1992. Campbell would later star as Ash in three seasons of the Starz series Ash vs. Evil Dead, which ran from 2015 to 2018. After the cancelation of the series, Campbell announced that he would no longer play Ash in any more live-action Evil Dead projects.
“I’m done playing Ash, so that determines a lot of where we go with the franchise without that character,” Campbell told Collider in 2021, explaining that it was just too taxing on his body. “I’ve got nothing else to give. The three seasons [of Ash vs. Evil Dead] were the longest seasons of my life… It just was an endless physical struggle.”
The groovy one has stood by this ever since, and while an Easter egg may have included the character’s voice, there was no Ash Williams to be seen in Evil Dead Rise. On Twitter, a fan lamented how they still miss Ash, despite enjoying Evil Dead Rise. Campbell retweeted the post and admitted that he’s starting to miss the wisecracking horror hero as well.
“I’m startin’ to miss him too, just a little bit…,” he confesses.
Will Ash Williams Return in a New Evil Dead Movie?
Missing the character isn’t the same as saying he’ll play Ash in a new movie, but it does seem to be another sign that maybe, just maybe, Campbell will reconsider his retirement from the role. In March, he also teased a potential return by admitting that he would consider playing Ash once again for an on-screen portrayal, but it had to be under one condition. While not making any promises, he says he’s “consider” returning as Ash if it were Sam Raimi himself getting back behind the camera for a new Evil Dead movie.
“If Sam says, ‘I, Sam Raimi, will direct another Evil Dead movie,’ then I, Bruce Campbell, will consider being in it,” he told Fangoria. “I don’t want to be Ash, tended to by other people… I’ll do it for Sam.”
The jury is still out on whether Campbell might return as Ash for an on-screen performance, but there’s a good chance he will at least be voicing an animated version of the character. He has teased that an animated continuation of Ash vs. Evil Dead is in the works, and he’s also made it clear he has no problems with voicing Ash, as that doesn’t require the grueling physical work that comes with a live-action Evil Dead performance.
“All I can say is we’re actively pursuing it,” Campbell said of the animated Evil Dead project in March. “I look forward to it, because my voice hasn’t aged as much as I have.”
This story originally appeared on Movieweb