According to the writer of the first three Saw films, Leigh Whannell, Chris Rock has wanted to make a Saw film for years. Spiral: From the Book of Saw is only a few months away, and the turnaround for the film from its original announcement in May of 2019 to now has been a very fast one indeed. Rock, who is serving as the star, executive producer, and writer (writer of the story outline), felt like an unusual choice to re-launch the horror franchise, which fans thought hit the end of the road after Jigsaw in 2017. However, now Lionsgate is returning to the well once again with the star-power of Rock and Samuel L. Jackson, hoping to change the fortunes of the horror franchise.
Saw was created by director James Wan and Whannell, with the first film releasing in 2004. With a budget that only just surpassed $1 million, the film went on to become an enormous success, grossing over $103 million worldwide. The second installment grossed even more, and the franchise seemed to peak with Saw III, earning over $164 million worldwide. Unfortunately for fans of the franchise, after one or two sequels, the thrills and scares wore off, and arguably most of the seven sequels were unnecessary. The latest and newest installment of Saw, starring Rock, seems to have a connection to the originals based on its synopsis, and despite the concerns of fans that the comedian will change the tone, he has reassured them the humor in the film will not stop it from being a Saw movie like fans have come to expect. Also, those worried about Rock’s influence may find themselves more at ease with Whannell’s latest comments about Rock’s long fascination with the franchise.
In a recent interview with Collider, writer of Saw I – III, Whannell, explained how when he found out about the popular comedian making Spiral, he thought back to a meeting he had with Rock a few years ago. “I was at a film festival party at the Palm Springs Film Festival and my agent, much to my horror, pushed me towards Chris Rock and was like, ‘Say hi to Chris!’ I think I said something lame like, ‘I’m a big fan,’ and he hears that a hundred times a day.” Whannell noted that once the comedian-turned-actor started walking away, his agent informed him that Whannell was the man who “wrote Saw.” The writer then said: “He like stopped in his tracks, came back and was like, ‘You wrote Saw?’ And suddenly he was super interested and he said to me, ‘I would love to make a Saw film.’”
One can certainly picture that interaction in their mind, as it’s quite an amusing story. However, the big takeaway from the writer’s story, especially for Saw fans, is that it clearly displays how invested and passionate Rock is about the franchise. As previously reported, Rock is a fan of Saw, but to find out just how long the star has wanted to add another tale to the long-running horror saga is quite promising.
Although the trailer does not reveal too much, it’s clear by the tone that Rock is certainly focused on maintaining the essence of what makes Saw the type of film it is. It also seems his “brash” cop character may use a lot of sarcasm in quite an aggressive manner, as opposed to the over the top comedy we’ve seen from the star in Lethal Weapon 4 and Jay and Silent Bob. Ultimately, once Spiral: From the Book of Saw hits theatres, audiences will find out whether Rock has found a successful blueprint to reignite the franchise.
Next: 10 Plot Holes In The Saw Franchise