“I’ve been a fan of Saw since the first film in 2004,” Chris Rock said in a statement last year, when Lionsgate announced a reboot of the franchise, starring the comedian. “I am excited by the opportunity to take this to a really intense and twisted new place.”
Judging from the trailer for the film, Rock and his collaborators also took it to a well-polished place. Audiences could easily mistake Spiral, dubbed a “chapter from the book of Saw” by Lionsgate, for the latest David Fincher crime drama.
Directed by Darren Lynn Bousman, who grabbed the baton from Saw director James Wan to helm the second, third, and fourth entries of the franchise back in the mid-2000s, returns for the reboot, which may or may not literally resurrect Jigsaw, the franchise’s star serial killer. Here’s the official synopsis:
Working in the shadow of an esteemed police veteran (Samuel L. Jackson), brash Detective Ezekiel “Zeke” Banks (Chris Rock) and his rookie partner (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.
After returning to stand-up for a comedy special in 2018, Rock has been on an nontraditional drama kick. This spring, he’s set to star in season 4 of Fargo, once again written by Noah Hawley. Later this year he’ll appear in an Robert Zemeckis’ adaptation of the Roald Dahl classic The Witches alongside Anne Hathaway. Between those two, he’ll open the book of Saw to see if there’s life left in this horror franchise. If anyone can find it, it’s probably him.
Spiral hits theaters on May 15.