The Evil Dead Remake Will Have a Female Lead, and It’s Lily Collins
All I can say about this is “WOW.” According to The Hollywood Reporter, the team remaking The Evil Dead had a very different kind of lead in mind for the new flick and has already made an offer — to Lily Collins. You heard me: a female lead for the new Evil Dead, which is being co-written by Diablo Cody (along with director Fede Alvarez and Rodo Sayagues). Are we ready for this, fellow primitive screwheads? Come inside, but be aware that there are some minor plot spoilers. We will protect you from them with our chainsaw arms. (Actually they’re not big spoilers, unless you really don’t want to know anything at all about the movie.)
Word was out late yesterday that an offer had been made to Collins, currently starring in the Snow White movie Mirror, Mirror (and daughter of Phil Collins), and now it looks like it’s official. Collins will be playing the lead role of Mia, who travels to the cursed cabin in the demon-infested woods with her brother, David, his fiance Natalie, and friends Eric and Olivia. You may recall that there was talk of a drug addiction subplot, which involved a male lead taking his sister, the (former) addict, to the cabin with some friends, and everyone else thinking that her demon sightings are an indication that she’s not quite sober yet. But now it looks like rather than the brother being the lead and battling the demons, it will be the sister doing all the dirty work.
Bloody Disgusting seems to be the source of this casting news (that link contains no additional spoilers, by the way), saying that Collins was in final negotiations with Ghost House and Mandate Pictures to take the role of Mia, then updating to confirm that Mia was, indeed, the lead role. We already knew that Bruce Campbell‘s Ashley J. “Ash” Williams was out, but will be making a cameo appearance as a different character. But despite our own guesses as to who could replace Mr. Campbell, it turns out that there were other plans entirely. And personally, I can hardly be upset about this.
Sam Raimi, who is producing the remake, gave us a taste of what a female lead could do in a Raimi horror film with his first post-Spider-Man release, 2009’s Drag Me to Hell. While Alison Lohman‘s Christine Brown could hardly be considered a heroine (the whole movie seemed to be her battling some angry karma after she denied someone a loan), she participated in her fair share of supernatural battles. She also proved that a woman could carry a Sam Raimi movie, which is a very specific breed of horror movie. Raimi, a fan of slapstick as much as he is of horror, likes to torture his characters, but not exactly in a Saw kind of way. More like in a Three Stooges kind of way. And that gives a terrifying movie what you never thought you needed: comic relief.
Of course, Christine Brown was not the easiest person to root for. She was insecure, a little selfish, kind of feeble as a person. And while the details are sketchy on this Mia character, will her fragile state as a recently overdosed, newly sober drug addict make her harder to root for as well? Or will she be another Christine Brown, someone we kind of want to watch suffer?
If that sounds harsh, let me remind you: Ash was not the sharpest knife in the drawer, either. He did what he had to do, as did Christine, but he made a lot of mistakes. Stupid ones. Boneheaded, even. And no one took him seriously, either. (In the commentary for one of the movies, I think the second one, Campbell refers to Ash as “The Idiot Ash.” So, this is how Raimi and Campbell approached this character in the first place.)
However, such humor may not even have a place in the remake at all. One thing that will be different compared to the latter two Evil Dead movies (Evil Dead 2 and Army of Darkness) is that it will not include a lot of Stooges-style slapstick in it. It’s said to be straight horror, possibly sprinkled with a couple of silly moments here and there, not unlike the first Evil Dead movie. In fact, that’s exactly the idea. Says THR:
The Evil Dead remake aims to take the property back to its serious and bloody horror roots, bypassing the comedic elements that became more prevalent as the sequels went along.
Alvarez and Sayagues wrote the original draft together, then handed it over to Cody for a pass. And I can tell you that everyone who skipped Jennifer’s Body because they were protesting Megan Fox missed out big time. This was a horror movie written by Diablo Cody, and it was great. It was creepy, it was disturbing, it was funny. But make no mistake — it was a horror movie. And Cody would never do wrong by The Evil Dead.
But as is the nature of fandom, for as many people who are excited as I am, there will be many, many more who will be amazingly pissed about all of this. But count me in. And hopefully this time: less tree rape.
Production on The Evil Dead is set to start in March, with a release date of April 12, 2013. So far, Collins is the only cast member.