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Can 'Evil Dead' Recover from the Canceled Series and Bruce Campbell's Retirement?

Just two episodes shy of the season three finale, Starz announced that it had canceled any further production on Ash vs. Evil Dead. The decision didn’t come as a complete shock considering Bruce Campbell earlier revealed the third season finale had been written as a series finale. What really hit fans hard, however, was the announcement that came days later from the man behind Ashley J. Williams himself.

In an official statement that followed a tweet made to the many fans trying to push Netflix to pick up Ash vs. Evil Dead, Campbell revealed that he was officially retiring as Ash. “Good people, Evil Dead fans everywhere, I bid you a heartfelt farewell playing Ash…” Campbell’s statement started. “I am hereby retiring from that portrayal. It’s time.”

The Evil Dead series has always been met with roadblocks and uphill battles, so it’s not a massive surprise that, after the cancellation of the series, Campbell was ready to hang up the chainsaw. However, it is a stark contrast to a statement he made in February 2018, when the fourth season of Ash vs. Evil Dead was still up in the air. "We're in the horrible television limbo right now," the actor claimed," If they take us off the air, we can think about another movie."

While he may be done battling the evils of the Necronomicon, in 2013, Evil Dead fans were introduced to Ash’s female counterpart, former drug addict Mia, portrayed by Jane Levy. Fede Alvarez’s bloody take on Evil Dead set the stage for another series of movies, especially considering the ambiguous ending that set up a possible sequel.

Unfortunately, when Bloody Disgusting reached out to Alvarez in light of Campbell’s announcement, the answer it received was less-than hopeful. According to the horror-centric website, Alvarez responded by claiming there had been no further movement on a follow-up that he was involved in.

While that’s not an entirely damning statement, it does paint a grim picture for the future of the Evil Dead franchise. Campbell stirred the pot further with the conclusion to his statement. “Is Ash dead? Never. Ash is as much a concept as a person. Where there is evil in this world, there must be one to counter - man or woman, it matters not,” he wrote, leaving some to wonder if he were alluding to Jane Levy’s Mia.

Sadly for diehard fans of the series, the end of Ash vs. Evil Dead could very well spell the end of Evil Dead. Thankfully, they will always have video games, comic books, and a musical production to fall back on when in desperate need of a fix of the wisecracking unlikely hero.