Bruce Campbell confirms that he’ll no longer play the deadite killing hero Ashley J. Williams
1981 saw the release of the first Evil Dead film. A low budget horror directed by Sam Raimi who also brought us Darkman, the Spider-Man trilogy starring Tobey Maguire and numerous other cool TV and film projects, too many to list here.
The film told the story of five friends who travel to a log cabin in the woods and unwittingly unleash a horde of demons by reading from the sacred book of the dead, the Necronomicon.
One of the actors was Sam Raimi’s longtime friend Bruce Campbell who was playing the character Ash. The film’s ending does seem to suggest that Ash is killed in the final moments.
Evil Dead 2 was released in 1987 and is a mixture of horror and comedy and acts as a reboot/sequel to the original film. This is where the character of Ash we all know and love was really developed. Ash is a hero but never really wants to be one.
It’s in Evil Dead 2 that the unleashed evil infects Ash’s hand and he has to cut it off at the wrist. This leads to Ash’s signature look of a chainsaw for a hand with a sawn-off shotgun in the other.
The comedy horror returned in 1993 with Army of Darkness. A time travel portal at the end of the previous film had thrown Ash back to medieval times, however, the land was infected deadites back then as well. Ash must once again fight the evil with only medieval technology at his disposal.
The Evil Dead trilogy and it’s hero Ash had become a cult classic and in the following years, the fan base repeatedly asked for more adventures featuring Ashley J. Williams.
Ash (Bruce Campbell) as he appears in the original Evil Dead from 1987.
Director Sam Raimi always said that he would be happy to make another film but it was always a mixture of getting everyone needed together at the same time as well as having a great idea for another adventure.
Over the following years, Bruce Campbell lent his voice to several Evil Dead video games, licensed comics were also produced along with a variety of Ash figures and statuettes.
As time went by, it felt like the possibility of seeing Ash again was just a fantasy for the fans. In 2014, the American cable network Starz announced it was creating a brand new television series, Ash vs Evil Dead.
Premiering on October 31st, 2015, Ash was back. Set thirty years after the original Evil Dead movie, Ash accidentally unleashes the demon hordes once more. At least this time he has two companions, Pablo and Kelly, to try and beat them back to hell. I eagerly reviewed the first episode and as a fan and fell in love with what I saw.
Frequently bloody, violent and very funny, Ash vs Evil Dead is coming to the end of its third season and unfortunately, Starz has made the announcement that this will be the end of the show.
Its been a wild, exciting ride for those thirty episodes and I’ve loved every part of the Evil Dead story, but for those looking into the future for the character Ash, I’m afraid you’re going to have to say goodbye.
When Bruce Campbell was asked recently what’s the future for Ash, maybe a future movie, he responded,
“No, no, no. Because if they cancel it, I think Ash is done. I have lavender on my property. I’m going to smoke weed and hang out.”
This was confirmed when Bruce tweeted the following soon after the shows cancellation notice.
Ash Vs Evil Dead has been the ride of a lifetime. Ash Williams was the role of a lifetime.
I will always be grateful to Starz, Sam Raimi, Rob Tapert and our tireless fans for the opportunity to revisit the franchise that launched our careers. Thank you! 😎 pic.twitter.com/oNmTopS1Ab
— Bruce Campbell (@GroovyBruce) April 20, 2018
The fans still wanted more and started to urge platforms such as Netflix to continue the show but Bruce stuck to his guns.
— Bruce Campbell (@GroovyBruce) April 23, 2018
Sadly, I agree with Bruce. Whilst us fans would all love another adventure with Ash, the television show has already given us fifteen hours of bloody, violent fun that we never expected to see in the first place.
Goodbye Ash, it’s been groovy knowing you.