Army of Darkness turned 20 in February, which means that it’s been about 20 years since people started talking about a sequel to Army of Darkness. Like most horror-comedy-fantasy-action-spoofs, the third film in the Evil Dead franchise was a box office disappointment in its original release — and, like most horror-comedy-fantasy-action-spoofs, Darkness inspired a fervent fan base. In the ensuing years, director Sam Raimi became a box office powerhouse with the Spider-Man trilogy, while star Bruce Campbell leveraged his cult following into a multifaceted career as a journeyman actor, a best-selling author, the co-star of Burn Notice, and all-around Bruce Campbell.
Rumors of an Army of Darkness sequel crop up frequently, but the idea seemed back-burned with the creation of Evil Dead, the de-the-ified franchise reboot. At last year’s New York Comic Con, Campbell mostly dismissed the idea of returning to the role of Ash. He’s not dismissing it anymore. ComicBook.com reports that, at Wizard World Nashville Comic Con on Friday, Campbell was asked if he was making a sequel to Army of Darkness. Campbell joked a bit about his age — “Ash would have to stop occasionally from chasing some Deadite to catch his breath.” But he concluded his answer with a surprisingly definitive response: “All right, sir, the answer is Yes.”
So is Army of Darkness 2 actually a possibility? When he was making the rounds for the Evil Dead reboot, Campbell offhandedly mentioned to IGN an ambitious multi-franchise future for Evil Dead, with a sequel to the reboot ultimately overlapping with a sequel to Army of Darkness. But I want to stress “offhandedly” — that idea didn’t necessarily seem any more likely than the decades of rumors.
But that was before Evil Dead had a surprisingly powerful box office performance in April, ultimately grossing $97 million globally. That could make a Darkness sequel look like a lucrative proposition (though, for branding purposes, they’d probably call it something like Evil Dead: Come Get Some.) Meanwhile, director Sam Raimi is coming off the half-billion-dollar grosser Oz the Great and Powerful, a years-long mega-Hollywood production. He could be ready for another Drag Me to Hell, a Darkness sequel shot on the cheap with his old pals. Or Raimi could always hand the reins over to a younger director — let’s say Ti West, for the sake of argument.
Also strong evidence (Spoilers, Kinda): The post-credits scene from Evil Dead:
Campbell’s reps did not respond to EW’s request for comment, and it’s unlikely anything official will be announced about Army of Darkness 2 soon (if ever). But the movie’s actual existence is a stronger possibility now than it ever has been. One thing we can all agree on: Long-rumored crossover Freddy vs. Jason vs. Ash is definitely* never going to happen now.