The Necronomicon is about to be cracked open again. Thirty years after bursting onto the scene with their grisly horror film The Evil Dead, Sam Raimi and Bruce Campbell — along with co-producer Robert Tapert — have announced they’re finally embarking on a long-discussed remake of the cult classic. The 1981 movie, which Raimi directed and Campbell starred in, fused gruesome, over-the-top gore with dark, often slapsticky humor in the story of five college students vacationing in an isolated cabin in the woods who find an ancient Book of the Dead and accidentally summon forth evil demons. Made on a shoestring budget, the film was followed by two sequels, 1987’s Evil Dead II and 1992’s Army of Darkness, and even spawned a stage musical version. Raimi, Campbell, and Tapert will produce the remake and have brought on newcomer Fede Alvarez to direct it on the strength of a short film he made called Panic Attack; Alvarez wrote the script with Rodo Sayagues, and Diablo Cody, who won a Best Original Screenplay Oscar for Juno and wrote the horror comedy Jennifer’s Body, is revising their draft.
In a statement, Raimi, Campbell, and Tapert wrote, “We are committed to making this movie and are inspired by the enduring popularity and enthusiasm for the Evil Dead series. We can’t wait to scare a new generation of moviegoers using filmmaking techniques that were not available to us thirty years ago as well as Fede bringing a fresh eye to the film’s original elements.” Though the film is being fast-tracked, no cast members have been announced yet. It’s safe to say, though, that if Campbell’s chainsaw- and “boomstick”-wielding hero Ash isn’t involved in some way, there will be some angry spirits unleashed across the land.