Genre fave Bruce Campbell dropped a bombshell on FANGORIA RADIO listeners the other night: The actor has turned down appearing in BUBBA NOSFERATU, the long-mooted sequel/prequel to his and director Don (PHANTASM) Coscarelli’s 2002 sleeper hit BUBBA HO-TEP. You read that right: The EVIL DEAD actor won’t be growing out his sideburns and donning the white jumpsuit again to play the geriatric Elvis Presley for the follow-up. The reason, Campbell said, had to do with the screenplay by Coscarelli and co-scripter Stephen Romano, which features Elvis, both in the past and present, battling a clan of Las Vegas vampires and dealing with the machinations of his duplicitous manager, Colonel Tom Parker (to be played by Oscar nominee Paul Giamatti, a big Coscarelli/Campbell fan).
“[BUBBA NOSFERATU] is dead to me,” Campbell said flatly. “It sleeps with the fishes. Don Coscarelli is a very passionate filmmaker. We got to a few points [developing the screenplay] that we couldn’t reconcile. I want to keep our friendship, so we parted ways. So I’m not part of that project.”
So will BUBBA NOSFERATU move forward without Campbell? Coscarelli told Fango that he is considering recasting the film with another actor whom the fans would embrace, but he admits that it will be a tall order to fill Campbell’s shoes. Campbell, meanwhile, commented on another sequel that genre buffs got excited about a few years back, the proposed FREDDY VS. JASON. VS. ASH movie that former New Line exec Jeff Katz pushed for. The major mashup never happened, Campbell said, because “it blows! You really think Ash would be allowed to kill Freddy and Jason off? We [including EVIL DEAD creator Sam Raimi] didn’t have any control on the project, New Line did, so there was no reason to do it.”
FREDDY VS. JASON. VS. ASH has since been reborn as an upcoming comics miniseries from Wildstorm. As far as a fourth EVIL DEAD movie is concerned, Campbell added, “Raimi still talks about it, but he’s in no rush to do it with everything else he has going on. Sam jokes, ‘Maybe we can do another EVIL DEAD when we’re 70.’ ”
The squared-jawed horror star also put the kibosh on the EVIL DEAD remake reports. “The feedback from the fans was 90 percent negative,” Campbell noted of the once-announced redux. “It’s going nowhere. The remake has fizzled fast at Sam’s company.”
Not everything was a downer out of Campbell’s lips, though he did call his Sci Fi Channel movie ALIEN APOCALYPSE a “piece of crap” and MAN WITH THE SCREAMING BRAIN, which he directed in Bulgaria, “el stinko. I failed in some respects.” On the upbeat side, the actor proudly revealed that his hit USA Network summer series, BURN NOTICE, in which he plays an old spy gone to seed, has been picked up for a second season. “We start shooting in January, and the show will be back on the air in June 2008.” Campbell’s agent and publisher want him to pen a third book as well, as a follow-up to his best sellers IF CHINS COULD KILL: CONFESSIONS OF A B MOVIE ACTOR and MAKE LOVE! THE BRUCE CAMPBELL WAY. “All I have is a title at this point,” Campbell teased. “It’s called SURROUNDED BY IDIOTS: WHY YOU SHOULD BE GLAD I’M NOT EMPEROR OF THE WORLD.”