During my third day at NY Comic Con, I left the Javits Center and went over to the Hammerstein Ballroom for the Ash vs. Evil Dead panel. Once I finally got in, I received a free foam chainsaw with the Ash vs. Evil Dead logo on it and an Ash 4 President button. I was surprised to get a really good seat for the panel. It finally started with moderator Kevin Smith coming out and telling the story of how the making of the original Evil Dead film inspired him as a filmmaker. Bruce Campbell and Sam Raimi came out and bantered for a little bit before asking the audience if they wanted to watch the premiere episode. The audience cheered and the pilot episode was screened for us. After enjoying the first episode immensely, the panelists were introduced: showrunner Craig DiGregorio, director Sam Raimi, and actors Lucy Lawless, Jill Maries Jones, Ray Santiago, Dana DeLorenzo, and Bruce Campbell.
Among the things mentioned was that the show was shot in New Zealand (surprisingly enough) and how Raimi continually tortured Campbell on set. Campbell jokingly referred to himself as a bad check (he keeps coming back). He also asked for the show to last more than one season since he’s the lead (he said that whenever he plays second fiddle, the show lasts for a decade). It was revealed that financing for a fourth Evil Dead film couldn’t come to fruition and that TV seemed to be the best format for more Evil Dead (particularly Starz, which is allowing them complete freedom to shoot whatever they want). Santiago said that he had a lot of fun as Pablo and that he was honored to be a part of the show. DeLorenzo mentioned that she loved the cast and crew, and Lawless said that she eagerly joined the cast when she first heard about the show.
During the audience Q&A, Campbell was asked for advice regarding the ladies. The original ending of Army of Darkness was asked out (specifically if it would be referenced); we were told not to rule it out. It was mentioned that Army of Darkness could not be referenced to due to rights issues that have not been cleared yet (only The Evil Dead and Evil Dead 2 can be referenced at this time). Raimi said that they would try to stick to practical effects as much as possible. Campbell joked that he’s stopped reading the scripts due to his pre-dreading what will physically happen to him. Santiago said that Pablo will grow over the course of the season. Lawless mentioned that she wanted a complicated character in Ruby. Raimi said that he loved returning to the world of The Evil Dead and that the five hours of content produced for the first season has already surpassed the combined four-and-a-half hours of the original Evil Dead trilogy. The panelists then thanked everyone for coming.