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'Evil Dead' remake: Diablo Cody polishing script for first-time director

July 13, 2011 |  4:39 pm

Photo: 'The Evil Dead' Credit: Anchor Bay That wail of despair you just heard might have been the sound of a million aggrieved horror fans.

Official word came Wednesday that filmmaker Sam Raimi, and producers Rob Tapert and Bruce Campbell, through their Ghost House Pictures partnership, are gearing up to remake Raimi's cult film debut "The Evil Dead," with first-time feature director Fede Alvarez stepping behind the camera. Alvarez penned a script that "Juno" screenwriter Diablo Cody is currently revising.

Word began circulating in earnest about the project online Tuesday after Campbell, who played beleaguered hero Ash in 1981's "Evil Dead" and its follow-ups, 1987′s “Evil Dead II” and 1992′s “Army of Darkness,” said via Twitter that the project, which has long been rumored, was indeed happening.

"Believe in the remake, dawg!" wrote the actor, who stars opposite Jeffrey Donovan in USA's spy series "Burn Notice." "The project is real. In the works. Cool as hell. Scary as hell."

But the prospect of a remake is a touchy one. The movie is arguably not well known among mainstream film fans, yet the low-budget thriller (about a group of unsuspecting friends vacationing at a remote cabin in the woods who inadvertently unleash an ancient demonic force) has amassed a wildly devoted following in the 30 years since its original release. Audiences responded to the movie's delightfully transgressive qualities and Raimi's gifts as a filmmaker. The projects have enjoyed a long shelf life through multiple DVD reissues and even a staged musical. 

On the occasion of a new Blu-ray release of the film last year, Campbell told The Times of the "Evil Dead" films: "They’re slightly weirder stories with an off-kilter lead character. It doesn’t make for mainstream success, but I think it makes for long-term success."

No word yet on just how weird the update will be, but to learn more about Alvarez's filmmaking style, watch his short "Panic Attack!" here.


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-- Gina McIntyre

Photo: 'The Evil Dead' Credit: Anchor Bay