Well, this is a prominent entry in the “headlines we weren’t expecting to see today” file. It seems that comedian Chris Rock, of all people, is spearheading a new reboot of the Saw franchise for Lionsgate and Twisted Pictures. Rock has written a story for the new film that is being adapted by writers Pete Goldfinger and Josh Stolberg, with Rock executive producing alongside a bevy of names that include original Saw creators James Wan and Leigh Whannel. Directing is Darren Lynn Bousman, who directed Saw entries 2, 3 and 4. Lionsgate has already penciled in the film for an Oct. 23, 2020 release, which would certainly be putting it on the fast track.
To reiterated: Wait, what? Chris Rock wants to make a Saw movie? One that exists somewhere outside the original (and very convoluted) Saw timeline?
“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,” said Lionsgate’s Motion Picture Group 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.”
Rock, too, is apparently a big Saw junkie. Who knew?
“I’ve been a fan of Saw since the first film in 2004,” said Rock. “I am excited by the opportunity to take this to a really intense and twisted new place.”
“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,” said series producers Mark Burg and Oren Koules. “This new Saw is going to be an event film in the making for horror fans. It will have all of the twists and turns and hardcore layers that our fans expect directed by one of the masters of the craft, Darren Lynn Bousman. We can’t wait to get started.”
To us, this sounds a little like the formula that Blumhouse and Miramax applied in the 2018 reboot of Halloween—a return to formula that is also a fresh start, with a recognizable name attached. What is unclear in the case of Saw is whether this film will directly exist in the same timeline as all the other Saw entries, or forge its own timeline.
Rock has been pretty busy lately, appearing in the upcoming film Molly, along with Eddie Murphy in Netflix’s Dolemite is My Name!, a comedy based on blaxploitation star Rudy Ray Moore. On the small screen, he’ll also be appearing in the fourth season of FX’s Fargo. But did he write himself into the Saw universe as well?