When a new entry of a franchise, especially one that comes in after years of nothing, makes for plenty of questions about how it fits into the big picture. Bruce Campbell spoke to Collider about how Evil Dead Rise fits into the timeline of the franchise.
The upcoming film is the latest entry of a slew of installments that originated from the 1981 film. So far, there are the first two films, Army of Darkness (the third from Sam Raimi), Ash vs Evil Dead (the canceled series), and the 2013 requel (between a sequel and reboot), which was confirmed to be a continuation from director Fede Álvarez in 2018. From Evil Dead Rise to the original films, what brings the timeline together is the Necronomicon, the evil book that is the root of all the gory happenings in the franchise.
Army of Darkness expanded the universe and brought the franchise to new ground. What it also did was reveal that there are three books. As Campbell detailed, it is all about the location of the books, and where we see it in Evil Dead Rise is what places it in the timeline.
“The only thing that connects everything now is the book. There are three of these books out there, as we found out in Army of Darkness, so you never know where they’re going to pop up. So this story is really, ‘Where is the book now?’ The book is in this particular place in Los Angeles and a set of circumstances kind of release it into the world again, and it lands upon this one particular family in a gritty old high-rise building in Los Angeles.”
Evil Dead Rise fits into the timeline of the franchise because of the book
Fans can expect plenty of nods and connections to the grander timeline with Evil Dead Rise. Critics who saw the film at SXSW teased that there are plenty of things that fans will pick up. It has also been said that it expands upon the universe, leaving the door open for more entries to further explore the world. While we are unsure what that will be until it releases, we have seen a chainsaw in the trailer, so at least we will have things that are less served as connections and more like serving as crowd-pleasers for longtime viewers.
The upcoming sequel will follow Beth (Lily Sullivan), who, after coming into some personal issues, she seeks out her sister, Ellie (Alyssa Sutherland), for help. During her visit, an earthquake unearths the Necronomicon. It turns Ellie into a Deadite, and now it is up to Beth to save her sister’s children (Nell Fisher, Morgan Davies, and Gabrielle Echols) from their mother and any other possessed neighbors in their high-rise apartment building.
Evil Dead Rise rips into theaters on April 21.