Who could have guessed we’d wind up with a Chris Rock Saw movie? In fact, even though the trailer for Spiral has already dropped, I still can’t get over it! And it turns out that Saw co-creator Leigh Whannell was just as shocked by Rock’s enthusiasm for the franchise.
Whannell co-wrote the very first Saw movie with James Wan. He also worked on the scripts for Saw II and Saw III, but then that was it for Whannell in the franchise. It appears as though he’ll always be an executive producer on new films having helped create the series, but as he said himself, he hasn’t had anything to do with the Saw films for quite a while, and that includes Spiral.
While chatting with Whannell about his upcoming movie Invisible Man, he told me about first hearing that Rock was going to make a new Saw installment and it turns out, Whannell did once have a conversation with Rock that suggested this might eventually happen:
“I was on a location scout for this movie and I got a phone call from one of the guys at Lionsgate who’s a friend of mine and when he told me about Chris Rock, I thought back to a couple of 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 so he was like, ‘Ok!’ And as he was walking away, his agent said to him, ‘That guy wrote Saw,’ and 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.’ And I thought it was just something that you say at a party, you know? Like, ‘Hey! I’d love to dye my hair pink, too!’ You just say it because the person’s got pink hair, you don’t wanna make them feel bad. Turns out, he was serious. That was not an off hand thing that he said. He really did wanna make a Saw film.”
After Jigsaw I could have done without the return of the franchise so soon, but Rock’s enthusiasm for the concept is keeping hopes high for this new installment. I can’t say the first Spiral trailer that dropped the other week got me as hyped for the film’s May 15th release as I would have liked, but it played strong enough and Rock, Samuel L. Jackson and Max Minghella’s involvement certainly suggests the movie has some serious promise.
If you haven’t seen the Spiral trailer just yet, click here to give it a watch and be sure to keep an eye out for Whannell’s new film, The Invisible Man, which hits theaters nationwide on February 28th.