Usually, the most iconic characters to emerge from horror are the villains: you have dream phantom serial killers like Freddy Krueger, merciless extraterrestrial horrors like the Alien, deranged maniacs like Michael Myers. Evil Dead is rather unique, in that the most recognizable character from the franchise is the protagonist Ash Williams, played superbly by Bruce Campbell.
Campbell’s manic style and raw on-screen charisma meshed wonderfully with the insanity of the Evil Dead series, in which we saw Ash chainsawing off his own arm one minute and laughing about it with living furniture the next. Campbell officially retired from playing the character earlier this year, when the Starz TV series Ash vs Evil Dead was canceled due to poor ratings.
Many fans assumed that this would be the end of the franchise; after all, it is hard to imagine the series without Campbell. The man himself seems to disagree, as in a recent interview he said he would like to see a younger actor take on the role of Ash. He said “I’d be perfectly fine if they find some young Ash, do some new incarnation, let some other poor bastard get covered in blood. It’s all good”.
Campbell pointed towards the Evil Dead remake, released in 2013 to a rather lukewarm reception from audiences, as showing that you could make Evil Dead without him. Of course, that film side-stepped the issue of replacing Campbell by not featuring Ash Williams at all, instead, subjecting a whole new cast of unlucky idiots to demonic possession, dismemberment, and botanical sexual assault. Letting someone else don the blue shirt and rig up the chainsaw arm would put them under very close scrutiny from Evil Dead fans. A studio would be making quite the gamble if they banked on another actor to fill Campbell’s shoes.
Still, Campbell does not seem to agree and is more than happy to let someone else take over. Does this mean we will see a new Ash Williams? Not necessarily, though now the idea has been put out there. Campbell himself is not quite finished with the character himself yet, as he is voicing Ash in an upcoming Evil Dead video game.
Do you think they should retire Ash Williams for good? Or do you have ideas for who could be his replacement? Discuss in the comments below!