When it was announced that Chris Rock was going to make a Saw movie, fans were initially shocked! This was a completely unexpected film project for Rock to jump into. It didn’t seem like a natural fit, but we were all interested to see what he would do with it. Then the trailer for Spiral was released, and it looked like a great new chapter in the horror franchise!
Well, it turns out that the story of Chris Rock getting involved with the franchise is an interesting, strange, and unlikely one. It all started with his film Top Five, a Tyler Perry film inspired by an element of that Top Five, and a conversation with the head of Lionsgate.
The Hollywood Reporter recently published a profile of Chris Rock, and it detailed the story of how Rock ended up involved with Saw:
“When Rock was writing Top Five, he included a scene in which his character, a giant comedy star desperate to be taken seriously, is humiliated by long lines for a made-up Tyler Perry movie called Boo! while his wrenching slavery drama bombs. Somebody from Lionsgate, which distributes Perry’s movies, suggested Perry actually make a movie called Boo!, which, incredibly, he did. It was a runaway success that begat a sequel, both of which used art from the Top Five version. A truly weird case of life imitating art imitating life — and wait, it gets weirder.
“Not long after, Rock ran into the head of Lionsgate’s film group at a friend’s wedding and remarked to him, half-jokingly, that he’d never seen a cent from Boo! ‘I don’t even think I got a special thanks,’ he says now. ‘And I’m not complaining, I’m just saying, I’ve seen a bone thrown for a lot less.’ The conversation got friendlier from there, as Rock complimented the studio’s Saw horror franchise and, having given it no prior thought, suggested they make the next one in the comedic style of [Eddie] Murphy’s 48 Hours. A few weeks later, he got a call from Saw producer Mark Burg, and a deal was struck for Rock to not only help develop such an idea but also to star.
That’s certainly one way to get involved with with a movie. Rock ended up coming up with the concept for Spiral, and the film was directed by Darren Bousman (Saw II, Saw III, Saw IV, Repo! The Genetic Opera).
Rock stars in the film alongside Samuel L. Jackson and Max Minghella, who play detectives investigating a string of grisly murders by a killer who is targeting cops. These detectives find themselves in “the center of the killer’s morbid game.” Here’s the synopsis:
A sadistic mastermind unleashes a twisted form of justice in Spiral, the terrifying new chapter from the book of Saw. Working in the shadow of an esteemed police veteran (Samuel L. Jackson), brash Detective Ezekiel “Zeke” Banks (Chris Rock) and his rookie partner William Schenk (Max Minghella) take charge of a grisly investigation into murders that are eerily reminiscent of the city’s gruesome past. Unwittingly entrapped in a deepening mystery, Zeke finds himself at the center of the killer’s morbid game.
The movie is set to be released on May, 21st, 2021.