Chris Rock is working on a reboot of the Saw franchise that's scheduled for a 2020 release date. The original Saw was released in 2004 and was created by James Wan (Aquaman) and Leigh Whannell (Insidious). The blood-spattered story told of a serial killer - John Kramer, played by Tobin Bell - who snares his victims in deadly booby traps that were designed to test their morality and survival instincts.
A huge hit, it became a global phenomenon and spawned sequels that were released at Halloween every year from 2005 until 2010. Although almost always critically derided by mainstream media, each film was eagerly anticipated by fans, until the seventh and "final" film (Saw 3D) was released in 2010. However, Lionsgate and Twisted Pictures eventually released Jigsaw in 2017, which continued the story once again. There has been no news regarding any further sequels to the revived franchise since Jigsaw left theaters. A new announcement, however, has revealed that a complete reboot of the franchise is now in the works.
As reported by Variety, Rock will team with Lionsgate to take the horror saga back to the very beginning. Though primarily known for comedy, he declared himself a huge fan of the horror genre, highlighting this franchise in particular. “I’ve been a fan of Saw since the first film in 2004,” Rock stated. “I am excited by the opportunity to take this to a really intense and twisted new place.” The announcement was made by the chairman of Lionsgate’s Motion Picture Group, Joe Drake, who revealed that the first installment of the reboot will be released on Oct. 23, 2020.
Rock's career began as a stand-up comedian, before moving on to wider prominence as a cast member of Saturday Night Live. He would later make the jump to movies, featuring in Kevin Smith's Dogma and Jay & Silent Bob Strike Back, as well as lending his voice to the animated Madagascar series. He also developed, wrote, and narrated the sitcom based on his childhood: Everybody Hates Chris. He is currently filming a role in Robert Zemeckis's adaptation of Roald Dahl's The Witches.
Rock would not be the first comedic actor to venture into the realm of horror. Danny McBride served as both a co-writer and an executive producer on 2018's Halloween movie. Most notably, Jordan Peele moved from being one half of the sketch comedy duo Key & Peele to the writer and director of Get Out. The film went on to achieve universal acclaim and even earned Peele an Oscar. He would later follow his debut film up with the also well-received Us and a reboot of The Twilight Zone.
Given the penchant for comedians to elicit a particular response in their audience, it makes sense that they could turn the dial the other way, towards terror rather than laughter. Whether Rock's reboot will be something more psychological, as with Peele's work, or simply a continuation of the bloody mayhem that increasingly encompassed the original series, remains to be seen. Either way, it's a surprising collaboration that is sure to intrigue fans leading up to the new Saw franchise's release.