The upcoming “Evil Dead Rise,” the fifth overall film in the franchise, takes the project to a new location as the sinister book that is the Necronomicon unleashes the Deadites and their ilk upon a high-rise apartment building.
In the film, a road-weary Beth (Lily Sullivan) pays an overdue visit to her older sister Ellie (Alyssa Sutherland), who is raising three kids on her own in a cramped L.A. apartment.
The sisters’ reunion is cut short by the discovery of the mysterious book deep in the bowels of Ellie’s building, giving rise to flesh-possessing demons and thrusting Beth into a primal battle for survival.
How this film fits into the rest of the franchise isn’t clear at present. The films have included both the original Sam Raimi-directed trilogy and Fede Alvarez’s dark 2013 reboot. Tonally this seems to be more in line with the latter, but the Necronomicon here (which has teeth and veins) seems quite different to either of the previous versions.
Speaking with Empire Magazine, writer and director Lee Cronin has gone into the lore a bit and explained how the new film, and its version of the Necronomicon, fit into the overall franchise continuity:
“In one of the early meetings I had with Sam Raimi, I said, ‘You know the way in ‘Army Of Darkness,’ there’s three [Necronomicons]? You had one, Fede had one, I’m going to take the other one.’
It gave me that platform to nudge things forward, and also to showcase that we live in a world where there is more than one copy of the Necronomicon. Those books may all have slightly different personalities — it’s not exactly the same book, necessarily, that Ash had in the cabin. But it’s very, very firmly related. It could even be more dangerous.”
Thus establishing that multiple Necronomicons exist sets up potential crossovers with past iterations of the franchise, from the films to the Starz series. Cronin also says a LOT of work went into making the book a real work of art:
“It’s all completely hand-made, hand-drawn. It’s got a different visual style to what you’ve seen before internally. I even brought in little hints of Celtic influences and different things to give it a hell of a lot of personality. It’s the bastard cousin of the other books, and they’re the bastard cousin of this.”
“Evil Dead Rise” is set for a release in cinemas on April 21st 2023.