These past couple of days have been a whirlwind of activity in the Ash vs Evil Dead universe. With everything culminating in a heartfelt farewell letter from Bruce Campbell to the fans of the franchise. It’s official, the actor is retiring from the role that launched his career.
“Some things should be simple; even an end has a start.” – The Editors
Let It Be
After Bruce Campbell made the initial announcement that Ash vs Evil Dead had been cancelled on Friday, social media sprang into action. Disbelief to anger to sadness were just some of the emotions that a casual observer would see displayed in various tweets and posts. Then the petitions started to send Ash vs Evil Dead to Netflix.
You couldn’t turn around without seeing this in every feed from Twitter to Facebook. Then the ideas to cast Campbell in different shows started making the rounds. I guess this was to be expected.
On Sunday, Bruce posted a meme to his Facebook page featuring the Rotten Tomatoes scores of Ash vs Evil Dead and the Walking Dead ending with a Save Ash petition plea. He very simply stated, “Let it be.” Of course, this phrase got bandied about and analyzed as to the meaning of it, the implications and so on and so on.
Monday is when things got interesting. The actor tweeted:
Straightforward and to the point, he told fans that he was moving on with #timetofrysomeotherfish. He followed this statement up with an earnest letter on his Facebook account:
Good people, Evil Dead fans everywhere, I bid you a heartfelt farewell playing Ash – the character I took acting lessons with for 39 years.
I am hereby retiring from that portrayal. It’s time. I followed Ash from his formative years thru his mid-life crisis and decline. What a thrill! What a privilege!
We had a great resurgence with the help of Starz (kudos not jeers, folks). They made it possible for 15 more hours of Evil Dead-ness in your life – the equivalent of 10 more features!
Is Ash dead? Never. Ash is as much a concept as a person. Where there is evil in this world, there must be one to counter – man or woman, it matters not.
Thanks for watching.
This personal message touched his audience everywhere. Majority of the responses were positive and wishing the actor well in his future endeavors. Truthfully, Campbell had been letting everyone know that he was ready to enter “Phase Three” of his life for some time.
In his best-selling book, Hail to the Chin, he talks about Final Confessions which will literally be the third installment of his trilogy. While on his tour this summer, he talked with Little Village Magazine about he envisions life after Ash.
“There’s a lot of stuff now that I’m crossing off my list. The criteria for doing work now is much harsher, much higher and much harder. Harder to get me up the mountaintop.”
Until We Meet Again
Just because Bruce says so long to Ashley J Williams the character that he has embodied for close to four decades does not mean that retirement is in the cards for him from everything. Here is what he has to say about that subject:
“I am retiring from certain types of work, certain types of acting. I’m definitely going to pull back on certain things. There’s some stuff I just plain don’t ever want to do again as far as being an actor. I’m phasing some stuff out and phasing other stuff in.”
The actor went on to say, “As long as I can contribute — if I get too old to be an actor, I’ll just be a director, whatever. I’m happy for whatever’s coming next.” From what he has said in the past, he will have no shortage of projects to occupy his time.
When we talked with him in September at 1428 Elm, he told us that he had been working on “ten screenplays since he knew Burn Notice was going to end a few years ago.” However, it did seem like the conclusion of AVED was on his mind.
“So, I am waiting for Ash vs Evil Dead to run its course and then I will have a proper amount of time to further develop those projects and then start doing them. That’s something I am going to focus on after Ash vs. Evil Dead. It’s a series of homegrown things that I have been working on.”
The Evil Dead franchise has affected so many of his fans’ lives. Some share personal stories of how the character of Ash helped them overcome difficulties. It has also bonded people together.
Since it is a niche film, folks are very passionate about it and the actor that portrays the “hero from the sky.” Sometimes it is hard to separate the two. This news has been heartbreaking for many of Campbell’s followers.
I am not going to say that Bruce will come back to playing Ash because he has done it before. That isn’t fair and I have no right to speculate. In the same vein, I won’t give him any advice or tell him what I think he should be doing. It isn’t my place.
Sure, there are certain projects I would love to see him undertake but that is his decision. This is Bruce Campbell’s moment. It is his time to pursue what he wants to do.
If he chooses to disappear for a bit then so be it. He is entitled to do that. The world will continue to spin, the sun will rise in the morning and life will go on.
Keeping the Light On
It isn’t as if he is going away forever. There will always be his movies to watch and his books to read while we wait for his next plan to come to fruition. He has upcoming appearances slated so fans will have opportunities to see him.
Ash isn’t dead. He is part of history now. Although there will be no further episodes of Ash vs Evil Dead, we can be happy that we had it for three seasons.
As for Bruce Campbell, there will be new trails to explore and a wide-open horizon with a view for miles. All of the best to him in his future endeavors. We will keep the light on.
You can catch Bruce in the finale of Ash vs Evil Dead, Sunday night at 9 p.m. on STARZ.
How did you become a fan of Bruce Campbell? Feel free to share your stories in the comment section below. We want to hear from you.
Susan Leighton can be found on Twitter and Facebook @SusanontheLedge. She can also be heard talking up Ash vs Evil Dead every Monday night on the Nerdrotics Podcast at 10:30 p.m. ET/7:30 p.m. PT as well as their Pop Culture Wrap Ups every Friday night at 11 p.m. ET/8 p.m. PT.