The 1428 Elm interview: The rise of director Lee Cronin

Lee Cronin (Photo by Jerod Harris/Getty Images)
Lee Cronin (Photo by Jerod Harris/Getty Images) /
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Lee Cronin
Sam Raimi (Photo by Albert L. Ortega/Getty Images) /

The Rise of Evil Dead

1428 Elm: Your next venture, Evil Dead Rise is a hot topic. Bruce Campbell spilled the beans over the summer in Empire magazine about your involvement. You are a fan of the franchise and your background is very similar to Sam Raimi’s. Was it a goal of yours to work with him?

Lee Cronin: You know, another beautiful question. The professional in me should say, “Oh, no, not at all. That’s just what happened.” But the film fan in me cannot deny that always, somewhere, you know in my peripheral vision, I thought I would love the chance to work with Sam.

Sam is also a cinematic hero of mine growing up. Now, he’s a great colleague. So, to be able to work with him was something I always imagined but never thought would happen.

I remember when Fede Alvarez’s movie came out in 2013 which I absolutely loved. I’m not going to lie. I remember the jealousy where I was like, I want to be that person. I want to have a go at Evil Dead.

Now, I have the opportunity to do it. The interesting thing is when I met with Sam for the first time, I never thought about talking to him about Evil Dead.

I was just happy to meet him and talk in general. I wanted to pick his brains about the moviemaking process and towards the end of that conversation, the first one we ever had, I asked him, more as a fan, “Are you going to be doing more Evil Dead?”

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He said, “Yeah. Are you interested?” I remember thinking in my head, I can’t believe I’m having lunch with Sam Raimi but I don’t have an Evil Dead picture in my back pocket. So, I said, “You know what? Give me a moment on this and I’ll come back to you.”

I’d be lying to myself if I didn’t say, that was something I always hoped I could get involved with at some point in my career. I think this is really, really important. As much of a fan as I may be, I am looking to make a movie that delivers but I am also my own filmmaker with my own vision. So, in order to make that movie I will have to find my own way in as well.

1428 Elm: It sounds as if he approached you about helming the next Evil Dead. Is that how it happened?

Lee Cronin: Yeah, so that is kind of how it was. I suggested Sam watch The Hole in the Ground and by the time I left Sundance, there was a meeting set up with him.

You know, we talked about lots of things but always, he was kind of interested. What Sam said to me was he liked my work because it had a kind of “clockwork mechanics” to my horror. And that is what he wanted for an Evil Dead movie.

He wanted to know what I would do with it. When I told him a couple of months later what I would attempt to do if given the opportunity, then he and Rob Tapert and Bruce Campbell were very on board with the direction I wanted to take.

He definitely poked the bear in me and I came back with the right take to really engage them.

1428 Elm: We know the Deadites will be wreaking havoc in an urban setting. A female protagonist is at the center of the action much like Fede’s 2013 version. What can fans expect? Will there be any surprise cameos?

Lee Cronin: One thing that I can promise that I am working tirelessly to do is I want to create a rollercoaster of terror. Which I think is what an Evil Dead movie needs to be. That’s the one thing I can promise. Whether it happens in a forest or under the ground, wherever it might be, you know I can promise it will be that Evil Dead rollercoaster of horror.

In terms of a cameo, I can’t really say much about that, right now. I think that would be something people would like to wait and see.

Next. 50 States of Fright S02 review: A haunting good time. dark

Thanks so much to Lee Cronin for his time. You can catch his 50 States of Fright episode, “13 Steps to Hell,” on Quibi.

Are you ready for Evil Dead Rise? Let us know in the comments.