Who will direct the remake of Evil Dead? Not Old Boy helmer Chan Wook Park, that’s for sure. He turned Sam Raimi’s ass down when offered the chance.
"[W]e did approach him, but I don’t think it was right for him,” Raimi tells Empire Online. “I don’t want to put words into his mouth, but he was either too busy or not interested. But that didn’t bear fruit and we’re now trying to find the next person who would bring something strikingly original to it with their vision and talent.”
I have to say that I’m glad he didn’t take the film. I would rather see this guy’s vision, which is so striking and so original, applied to projects where he can have actual control, and not just the cynical studio effort to pump a couple of bucks out of a franchise. And it’s cool to see someone from the Asian film industry who isn’t looking to jump ship over to the United States – it speaks to the strength of the Korean film world these days.
Still, if Raimi is insisting on going ahead with this, the fact that he was going after a talent like Chan Wook Park is heartening. I mean, they’ll probably end up with Music Video Director #6, but at least this is a start.
Of course I don’t even understand the point of remaking the film – the basic premise is incredibly generic, and I wonder if the Evil Dead name carries the weight that the Amityville Horror or Texas Chainsaw Massacre names do. I do appreciate Raimi’s stated thoughts on the remake, though:
“I don’t look at it as anything sacred. I’m glad that it has fans and I appreciate them. They sure are a diehard bunch and I don’t want to anger them or displease them,” he told the site. “But I never felt that in remaking a film, you take anything away from the original. But I felt the film could be better, and certainly the narrative and the characterisation and the dialogue could be better in the first Evil Dead.
“Yes, a lot of its power lied in its crudeness,” he continued, “but it could still be more than that. And it’s kinda exciting for me to see what it would become in the hands of a really fine director and not just a kid learning how to direct a picture.”
I would rather see the name being used to help new directors along – it isn’t like kids in a cabin getting knocked off is dying for the DePalma treatment. Although actually, I bet he would make a wicked Evil Dead…