Retro rewind: Evil Dead 4 and a tale of two Bruce Campbells


Evil Dead 4 never came to fruition obviously but Sam Raimi did have some ideas in the tank. Imagine a tale of two Bruce Campbells! Let’s take a look back at what might have been.

Evil Dead 4 was a concept that was bandied about numerous times in various incarnations by Sam Raimi. Of course, we all know that it morphed into the belated Ash vs Evil Dead TV series on STARZ. However, at one point it almost became a tale of two Bruce Campbells among other brainstorming gems.

According to Screen Rant, one version that Sam and his brother Ivan were working on involved Campbell as a documentary filmmaker who has a very singular vision. The idea was that he would be taking moments from his own life as part of his story and trying to schlep the finished product around the country via a road trip.

While this sounds interesting, it almost has that My Name Is Bruce vibe happening. Although, it would have been fun to explore it in some capacity.

My preferred idea is actually the one where we get a tale of two Bruces. This particular incarnation involved the original end of Army of Darkness where Ash wakes up in a post-Apocalyptic world. Incidentally, the series finale of Ash vs Evil Dead is a direct riff on that particular take.

The plot would have also utilized the ending that Universal preferred which was Ash back in the present regaling his co-worker with his heroism in 1300 A.D. while working at S-Mart. Raimi envisioned cutting back and forth between the two timelines. In the director’s words:

"“We realized, we have really lost our minds now and we must stop.”"

Perhaps my least favorite out of the potential storylines for Evil Dead 4 was what Bruce Campbell likened to as “Ash vs the Machines.” I guess Sam was influenced by James Cameron’s Terminator at the time and thought it would be a great idea to turn Campbell into the new Arnold.

Of course, this fell through because of budgetary constraints. Raimi’s vision was too epic to even begin thinking of turning it into an actual production.

You have to admire the breadth and scope of Sam Raimi’s imagination. When I think of his filmmaking style, the phrase that readily springs to mind is he is able to see the “big picture.” Some of the ideas that we recounted could have turned Evil Dead 4 into the Gone with the Wind of horror.

The rearview mirror: Saying goodbye to Ash vs Evil Dead and The X-Files. light. Related Story

In all honesty, while it would have been nice to see Bruce Campbell on screen one last time as Ash Williams, let’s face it. Ash vs Evil Dead gave us 15 hours’ worth of adventures as opposed to a 90 minute to 2-hour movie. That is a gift that keeps on giving.

Which Evil Dead 4 version do you prefer? Feel free to let us know your thoughts in the comments section below. We want to hear from you.