“[Bubba Nosferatu] is dead to me,” Bruce Campbell announced Friday night on Fangoria Magazine‘s Fangoria Radio Show on Sirius Satellite Radio.
The announcement comes as a disappointing surprise to fans of the actor and director Don Coscarelli’s 2002 cult hit Bubba Ho-Tep, for which Bubba Nosferatu would serve as both a sequel and a prequel.
“It sleeps with the fishes,” Campbell continued. “Don Coscarelli is a very passionate filmmaker. We got to a few points [in 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.”
Campbell impressed critics in Bubba Ho-Tep as an aging, nursing home-bound Elvis Presley fighting off an attack from an Egyptian mummy with the help of another of the home’s residents who thinks he is John F. Kennedy (Ossie Davis). Although the film ended with a title card announcing Bubba Nesferatu, it was done as a joke by Coscarelli. It was only after intense fan reaction to the film that the director actually began developing the sequel, with screenwriter Stephen Romano.
According to reports, Bubba Nosferatu would have had Campbell as Elvis fighting a clan of Las Vegas vampires in both the past and the present while dealing with the machinations of his manager, Col. Tom Parker. Oscar-nominee Paul Giamatti, a professed fan of Bubba Ho-Tep, had already been lined up to play Parker.
Fangoria reports that Coscarelli plans on moving forward with the project anyway, though he admits that it will be hard to find an actor who can take over Campbell’s role.
As far as a return to the role that launched his career, the hapless Ash of the Evil Dead franchise, Campbell doesn’t hold much immediate hope.
“[Evil Dead writer/director] Sam Raimi still talks about it, but he’s in no rush to do it with everything else he has going on,” Campbell stated. “Sam jokes, ‘Maybe we can do another Evil Dead when we’re 70.’ ”
In 2004, an attempt was made by New Line Pictures to merge the Evil Dead franchise with that of the Nightmare On Elm Street and Friday The 13th series for a picture to be called Freddy Vs Jason Vs Ash. Campbell says that Raimi walked away from it due to lack of creative control. The pitch developed for the movie is now being adapted as a six-issue comic book miniseries.
Campbell also stated that the announced Evil Dead remake, featuring a new cast, was also a dead project.
“The feedback from the fans was 90 percent negative,” Campbell said. “It’s going nowhere. The remake has fizzled fast at Sam’s [production] company.”
On the positive side of things for his fans, Campbell did state that Burn Notice, the USA Network series on which he co-stars as a burned out ex-spy, has been picked up for a second season. He also stated that his agent and publisher are asking him to write a third book as follow-ups to his previous 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 stated. “It’s called Surrounded By Idiots: Why You Should be Glad I’m Not Emperor Of The World.”