There’s a new Evil Dead movie coming to theaters next month called Evil Dead RiseIt contains most of the hallmarks of this classic horror franchise: A Book of the Dead that reanimates evil spirits, and plenty of gory special effects. But it doesn’t have Bruce Campbell’s Ash, the hero of the original Evil Dead trilogy of movies, along with the sequel TV series Ash vs. Evil Dead, which aired on Starz from 2015 to 2018.

Campbell said at the time of the Ash vs Evil Dead series finale that he was retired from playing Ash again. But he’s involved with Evil Dead Rise as an executive producer, and so he’s doing interviews for the movie around its premiere at the South By Southwest Film Festival. And in one of the interviews, he said he would make another Evil Dead as Ash ... but only if Sam Raimi returned to direct it.

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As he explained to Fangoria...

If Sam says, ‘I, Sam Raimi, will direct another Evil Dead movie,’ then I, Bruce Campbell, will consider being in it. I don’t want to be Ash, tended to by other people. Sam’s the meanest director I’ve ever worked with, and Ash needs a little bit of that to shine. And I think Sam’s the only director now who I won’t punch in the face making an Evil Dead movie! I’m just saying, I’ve called Rob and Sam out, I’m not the coward that they think I am; I just want the right circumstances.

Consider the gauntlet thrown. Or maybe the chainsaw in this case. Either way, it’s Raimi’s call now.

Evil Dead Rise is scheduled to open in theaters on April 21. Here’s footage of Campbell shutting down a heckler at the film’s SXSW premiere:

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