After endless promises and “confirmations” about the long brewing new “Evil Dead” movie, the Internet was taken by surprise yesterday when a flurry of info hit the web that indicated it was no longer a mere pipe dream. Word was that the film was gearing up for production in Detroit and that Sam Raimi’s regular collaborator, editor Bob Murawski, who worked with Raimi on all three “Spider-Man” films and “Drag Me to Hell” before winning an Oscar for “The Hurt Locker,” was also going to be involved in some capacity. By the end of the day, it was revealed that Fede Alvarez, who made the hyped robot invasion short “Panic Attack!” that nabbed him a deal with Sam Raimi‘s Ghost House Pictures back in 2009, was going to be directing.
Well, it’s all official now as Ghost House Pictures has announced the remake is indeed underway with Raimi, Bruce Campbell and Rob Tapert producing along with Joe Drake and Nathan Kahane executive producing and Alvarez directing. But there are few more details that should raise eyebrows. First off, the script was penned by Alvarez and Rodo Sayagues, but more interestingly, Academy Award-winning “Juno” and “Jennifer’s Body” scribe Diablo Cody is doing “revisions.” The writer/director hit Twitter this evening to quell fan fears (or not) by tweeting cheekily, “Re: EVIL DEAD. Fede Alvarez wrote a brilliant script. My job is easy. Have no fear. (Wait, do have fear.)”
It’s a bold choice, and for a series that earned its stripes based on its one liners alone, Cody has a helluva task ahead of her and fans will be merciless if she doesn’t get it right. But we think the hire is a smart, savvy one that allows the franchise to inch into new territory stylistically and with a new voice, while still retaining the core of what made it so special. Though we’re wary of the remake altogether — the original was unique for so many reasons that can’t be equally duplicated — this at least affords it the chance to stand distinctly from the preceding trio of films.
While the film is confirmed to be on the “fast track,” word of the Michigan shoot, Murawski’s involvement and casting is mum for now. But Comic-Con is around the corner and we expect big news will be revealed there.