Chris Rock Is Taking The Saw Film Franchise To A Twisted New Place
Fifteen years after Saw debuted in movie theaters, Emmy Award-winning writer and comedic icon Chris Rock will help lead the franchise in a new direction. The psychological film released in 2004 spawned seven further installments, most recently 2017’s Jigsaw. For its ninth chapter, Rock will reportedly join Jigsaw writers behind the scenes for a reboot and spin-off film due to hit theaters in time for Halloween 2020.
According to Deadline, Jigsaw writers Pete Goldfinger and Josh Stolberg will adapt a story written by Rock for the as-yet untitled Saw movie. Together with Lionsgate and Twisted Pictures, Rock and his fellow writers will reportedly release the film on October 23 of next year.
Lionsgate’s Motion Picture Group chairman Joe Drake said, “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…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.”
Rock’s expansive work in comedy makes this an unexpected — but not unjustified — role for him. In fact, longtime producers of Saw films Mark Burg and Oren Koules alluded to a comedic film in Deadline’s report. “Chris wants to put his own spin on the Saw franchise in the way Eddie Murphy put a completely fresh perspective on buddy-cop films with 48 Hours. This new Saw is going to be an event film in the making for horror fans.”
Rock says he’s been a fan of the franchise since its debut. “I am excited by the opportunity to take this to a really intense and twisted new place,” he added.
Of course, Rock is not the first comedic genius to recently enter the realms of horror and thriller. Jordan Peele, previously known best for his comedy-sketch work on Key and Peele, is now the Oscar-winning writer of 2017’s Get Out. That film, which Peele also directed, disrupted any traditional notion of horror films and placed a Black American perspective in the foreground. Peele followed his directorial debut with 2019’s Us, a similarly haunting look at race.
Though perhaps best known for his stand-up comedy, Chris Rock’s writing in film is certainly no less impressive. The Brooklyn, New York native was heralded as the co-writer, director and star of 2007’s I Think I Love My Wife. In 2014, he wrote, directed and starred in the critically acclaimed film Top Five.
The new Saw film will be directed by Darren Lynn Bousman, the visionary responsible for three of the franchise’s most successful films. Rock will also executive produce the film.