The release date for Chris Rock’s Saw film has been moved forward to May 2020. News of Rock’s reboot of the horror franchise first broke a couple months ago, when Lionsgate announced that the revamp was set for an October 23, 2020 release date, with Rock executive producing and writing the story outline. As he’s better known for comedy, Rock may not have seemed the most obvious choice to guide a Saw reboot, but he assured horror fans that he’d been a fan of the franchise since the start, and intended to take it to “a really intense and twisted new place.”
Reboot director Darren Lynn Bousman - who also directed Saw II, Saw III and Saw IV - confirmed that filming began in June, from a script penned by Josh Stolberg and Pete Goldfinger (the same screenwriting duo behind 2017’s Jigsaw). Shortly after, it was announced that Samuel L. Jackson, Max Minghella (The Handmaid’s Tale) and Marisol Nicholas (Riverdale) had joined the cast of the Saw reboot alongside Rock, who's starring as a police detective tasked with investigating a series of grisly crimes. Jackson is playing Rock’s onscreen father, while Minghella and Nicholas are playing Rock’s partner and boss, respectively.
Now it looks like horror fans will see how that cast fares in the new Saw film sooner than originally thought, as Variety reports that its pre-Halloween release date has been moved forward five months to May 15, 2020. The move to a summer release apparently comes after Lionsgate viewed early footage of the film. A May 15 release means that the Saw reboot will open on the same day as Warner Bros releases its new animated Scooby-Doo movie, Scoob.
Interestingly, Variety also reports that the decision to bring forward the new Saw’s release date comes just a few days after Universal announced it would release Halloween Kills – the sequel to the 2018 Halloween reboot – on October 16, 2020. It could be that Lionsgate was at least partially motivated to change the Saw reboot’s release date so that it didn’t have to compete with Halloween Kills, which is bound to get a lot of hype as its release approaches.
Though the Saw movie’s original pre-Halloween release date may seem like the best time to release a horror film, it makes good business sense on Lionsgate’s part to avoid going up against Halloween Kills. And if recent horror releases like Midsommar and Crawl prove anything, it’s that the summer months can produce horror hits. Here’s hoping Chris Rock’s Saw reboot stands up to the quality of this summer’s horror films.