I’m not really sure how to tackle this it’s so out of left field, but the Saw franchise is about to get a spin-off/relaunch film developed by Chris Rock. Yea, that Chris Rock. Evidently, the actor came to Lionsgate with an idea for the film and they liked it so much they agreed it was the right way to bring the franchise back to life. In fact, everyone was so excited that series creators James Wan and Leigh Whannell are returning as a producer and Saw II director Darren Lynn Bousman has been brought on to direct. The gangs all here! Let’s get to locking up idiots in a series of deadly and elaborate traps!
Rock isn’t writing the screenplay, but he conceived the story, which Pete Goldfinger and Josh Stolberg are shaping up into a film. The movie is not a reboot, in that it takes place in the same universe/timeline as the first eight films in the franchise, but it’s obviously going to relaunch the series by going in new directions. The last outing, Jigsaw, which was released 7 years after its predecessor, looked to do much the same but didn’t take off like Lionsgate wanted so they put the brand in the cupboard for a bit.
“When Chris Rock came to us and described in chilling detail his fantastic vision that reimagines and spins-off the world of the notorious Jigsaw Killer, we were all-in,” Lionsgate chairman Joe Drake. “Saw is one of the highest grossing horror franchises of all time, and it’s one of Lionsgate’s most successful film series. This upcoming film will still be as mind-bending and intense as all the previous Saw films. Chris conceived this idea and it will be completely reverential to the legacy of the material while reinvigorating the brand with his wit, creative vision and passion for this classic horror franchise.”
At first glance this move makes very little sense, but if you think about it the pieces start to fit together. Horror is having a renaissance right now with box office win after box office win. It’s also hitting a new stride as smart and psychological terror takes over from slashers that dominated the 90s and 00s. Lionsgate just sitting on a brand that actually helped usher in this new wave of horror films is idiotic so it’s obvious the should want to get something fresh out the door.
And why Chris Rock? Well, comedians are leading the way in horror right now. Jordan Peele is a Hollywood darling from Get Out and Us and lets not forget that Danny McBride is the guy who helped successfully reboot Halloween. Plus, it never hurts to slap a big name onto your movie. If Rock came to Lionsgate and hit them up with a great idea, why not let him take a stab at it? Honestly, the franchise needed a bit of a shakeup to survive in the horror scene and judging from this announcement that’s exactly what they’re planning on doing.