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Waking the ‘Dead’

Raimi revisits horror roots

“Spider-Man 2” director Sam Raimi and original producing partners Rob Tapert and Bruce Campbell are reteaming to produce a remake of the cult hit “The Evil Dead” through Ghost House Pictures, the joint venture of Raimi, Tapert and Senator Intl.

Raimi wrote, directed and produced the 1981 “Dead,” which tells of five twentysomething friends holed up in a remote cabin who discover a Book of the Dead. When an archaeologist’s taped translation of the text and its incantations is replayed, the youths unwittingly summon dormant demons that possess them.

Raimi will not direct the remake, so Ghost House is looking for a helmer to reinvent the franchise before a script is written.

Original pic spawned subsequent installments “Evil Dead II” and “Army of Darkness.”

“Dead” will be fully financed by Senator Intl., which will hold worldwide rights to pic. Exec VP of motion pictures Nathan Kahane will oversee the pic for Senator.

” ‘The Evil Dead’ is such a special film to Sam, Rob, Bruce and horror fans that we are going to take great care in renewing this franchise,” said Joe Drake, Senator Intl. prexy. “By keeping its original formula intact and given audiences’ appetite for horror, we expect that we’ll have a real hit on our hands.”

Pic follows Ghost House’s first horror release, “The Grudge,” which has grossed more than $100 million worldwide to date.

Senator and Ghost House are developing a sequel to “Grudge.”

Other upcoming pics include “Dibbuk Box” from the Pang brothers; “Scarecrow”; “30 Days of Night,” in partnership with Columbia; and “Boogeyman,” to be released by Screen Gems in February.

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