After eight successful films, Lionsgate's lucrative Saw franchise is about to be rebooted by the most unlikely of sources: comedian/actor Chris Rock, Deadline reports. Yes, you read that correctly, there's nothing wrong with your eyeballs.
"I’ve been a fan of Saw since the first film in 2004," Rock said in a statement published by Deadline. "I am excited by the opportunity to take this to a really intense and twisted new place."
Pete Goldfinger and Josh Stolberg, the writing duo behind 2017's Jigsaw, will be penning the screenplay based on an original story conceived by Rock.
“When Chris Rock came to us and described in chilling detail his fantastic vision that reimagines and spins off the world of the notorious Jigsaw Killer, we were all-in,” added Lionsgate’s Motion Picture Group chairman Joe Drake. “Saw is one of the highest-grossing horror franchises of all time, and it’s one of Lionsgate’s most successful film series. This upcoming film will still be as mind-bending and intense as all the previous Saw films. Chris conceived this idea, and it will be completely reverential to the legacy of the material while reinvigorating the brand with his wit, creative vision, and passion for this classic horror franchise.”
The IP first kicked off in 2004 with James Wan (in his directorial debut) at the helm. Despite some big names in the cast, like Cary Elwes (The Princess Bride) and Danny Glover (Predator 2), the first Saw movie was produced on a meager budget of less than $2 million. After it went on to rake in over $100 million at the global box office, however, the studio realized that it had a burgeoning series on its hands.
The franchise follows a mysterious killer (played by Tobin Bell) who kidnaps people and hooks them up to deadly contraptions. Once they awake, he initiates a "game" to see how far these individuals will go to survive. In Saw IV, it is revealed that Jigsaw's desire to kill others in such a sadistic way stems, in part, from the tragic death of his unborn child.
“Chris wants to put his own spin on the Saw franchise in the way Eddie Murphy put a completely fresh perspective on buddy-cop films with 48 Hours," said longtime franchise producers Mark Burg and Oren Koules. "This new Saw is going to be an event film in the making for horror fans. It will have all of the twists and turns and hardcore layers that our fans expect, directed by one of the masters of the craft, Darren Lynn Bousman. We can’t wait to get started."
Bousman, of course, is known for directing the first three sequels to follow Wan's initial Saw. Rock's reboot (currently untitled) will arrive in theaters on Oct. 23 of next year.