There are changes coming to the third season of Ash Vs Evil Dead, none of which will affect the show’s abundance of blood, action or laughs, but will, hopefully, add a bit of longevity and avoid a sense of repetition from year to year.
Those changes are courtesy of Mark Verheiden, who takes over as showrunner in year three, and who, of course, comes from a producing background that includes Smallville, Battlestar Galactica, Heroes, Falling Skies, Hemlock Grove, Constantine and Daredevil. Needless to say, he has all the cred he needs to take on a season of mayhem with Ash, his chainsaw and, presumably, the team consisting of Ray Santiago’s Pablo Simon Bolivar, Dana DeLorenzo’s Kelly Maxwell, Michelle Hurd’s Linda Emery and Lucy Lawless’ Ruby Knowby. Added to that, he’s a massive fan of that universe, deeming Evil Dead II one of his favorite movies “ever.” In fact, it’s that fervor that led Verheiden to approach Sam Raimi and Rob Tapert to produce his first movie, 1994’s Timecop.
“I’ve also gotten to know Bruce Campbell and have used him on a show or two that I’ve done,” Verheiden points out. “Then, in the mid 2000s, I wrote a movie that Bruce directed called My Name Is Bruce, which I wrote just for him. Completing the Evil Dead of what I’ve done, I adapted the first movie for Dark Horse a while back. Long story short, I’m not only familiar with the Evil Dead universe, it’s one that I love and I’ve had a long relationship with many of the principals involved. It was a great fit when the job as showrunner opened up.”
The franchise kicked off back in 1981 with the original The Evil Dead, the success of which led to 1987’s Evil Dead II, 1992’s Army Of Darkness and, in what has been referred to as a “reboot, a remake and a sequel,” 2013’s Evil Dead. The Ash Vs Evil Dead television series debuted in 2015 with ten thirty-minute episodes, the same run as season two, which concludes in early December.
Like any other showrunner, Verheiden brings his own sensibility and creative desires to the show, which will result in something of a minor shake up when Ash Vs Evil Dead returns for year three.
“We’re early into it, and there’s a little bit of if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it, but I think if I have any sort of mandate for myself, it’s to change things up a little bit,” he says. “We don’t want to repeat ourselves. It’s all the same characters, but we’re exploring different ways they can interact, maybe introducing a new character or two into the mix, and challenging them in sort of different ways. But it will still be Evil Dead, it will still be Ash doing his chainsaw-swinging action. Those parts are still very active. I think the big thing is we don’t want to do seasons one or two again, we want to be sure that the new season seems fresh, that we’re opening up the mythology a little bit and opening the characters up a little bit more, but never losing that Evil Dead flavor.”