Evil Dead remake and sequel?
We know that Sam Raimi is behind a remake, reboot or re-imagining of the original Evil Dead film that will have a new cast but follow a similar storyline, just scarier, but did you know that there was also as sequel to the series in development?
It appears so, although not if Raimi's production company have their way as they are suing to try and stop the sequel from happening so that their re-whatever will be the only Evil Dead film to be released.
Sam Raimi's production company Renaissance Pictures are making The Evil Dead with Sony Pictures and Film District, and from what we know so far this is a restart of the franchise, going back to the first film and remaking that story to make it more modern, scarier and rather more horrific, basically taking advantage of everything they didn't have at the time, money, backing, equipment and knowledge. Actually if you ask me those are the things that made the first film so appealing, but we'll hold off on judgement until we start to see something of it.
However Award Pictures say they have been planning a sequel to the Evil Dead series for some time, Evil Dead 4: Consequences, a film which by the title at least, seems to be far more of a sequel than the Renaissance Pictures film.
According to The Hollywood Reporter the problem arose when Renaissance Pictures when to register the title for their film for shortly after Award Pictures filed an objection and it appears the debate has been raging since. The article reveals some strong evidence on both sides to fight their case.
While Renaissance Pictures claims they have held onto and licensed the Evil Dead trademark to other properties and the use of it on another film would harm theirs, Award Pictures claim that they have let it be used elsewhere and demonstrated that they had abandoned the rights to it, a claim they back up with statements that Raimi has made regarding never making a sequel to the series.
The battle is ongoing with the usual counter suing happening which helps lawyers get richer and everyone else get poorer while projects are delayed.
However consider this. What if Award Pictures show that Renaissance Pictures have technically let slip the rights to the Evil Dead title and franchise? Will they go ahead with a sequel? I think they would because running on the coat tails of a Sam Raimi produced The Evil Dead remake would certainly draw in a lot more sales than just a sequel on its own out of the blue.
Of course if they were to throw money at it as well and do a bigger production sequel then the audience might be the winner and we might see two new Evil Dead films both travelling in separate directions.
However, I don't think that will be the case and even from the title Evil Dead 4: Consequence it doesn't sound like it's off to a great start. Throw in the fact that the sequel will probably be about the cabin and curse alone and won't feature Bruce Campbell, since he is part of Renaissance Pictures, and we're really looking at two reboots, one with rather large backing and the other not looking so strong.
The other side to this is should Renaissance Pictures really be concerned? Surely creating their own re-whatever should be enough to take the limelight away from the sequel? Well perhaps not, and this is where I think the key lies. Reboots usually are there to try and pave the way for a new franchise, and if that's the intent then the company want to hold onto the rights firmly for if this is a success they don't want any battles at that point delaying a potential sequel to build on the capabilities and returns of the franchise.
Who will win? The reboot or the sequel with no returning cast?