Less than a year ago, we learned that comedian Chris Rock would be rebooting the Saw horror franchise at Lionsgate. This morning, we got the very first trailer for the project, which was helmed by the director of Saws II - IV, Darren Lynn Bousman.
This ain't your daddy's Saw, though, because the official title for the movie is Spiral: From the Book of Saw. The name is most likely a reference to the Billy the puppet's iconic spiral-shaped cheek swirls.
Rock, who stars in the movie as Detective Ezekiel "Zeke" Banks, came up with the central story that led to the screenplay by Jigsaw writers, Pete Goldfinger and Josh Stolberg. Samuel L. Jackson, Marisol Nichols, Max Minghella, Dan Petronijevic, Nazneen Contractor, and K.C. Collins make up the cast. In particular, Minghella plays Zeke's rookie cop partner.
Watch the first trailer below:
Set against the sweltering backdrop of a New York summer, Spiral looks like it was inspired by classic and gritty '70s crime drama-thrillers like Dog Day Afternoon and The French Connection. There are even a chilling notes of David Fincher's S7ven and Spike Lee's Summer of Sam as Banks discovers that the new killer is specifically targeting officers of the law. In the end, this all works to the movie's advantage since Rock is looking to try something new with the Saw franchise. The fresh title alone is proof of that fact.
Unfortunately, Zeke won't stay safe from the killer for long because the trailer ends with him holding the trademark hacksaw of the gore-heavy series. Let's just hope he'll be rescued before having to remove one of his appendages.
"I’ve been a fan of Saw since the first film in 2003," Rock said in a statement when the film project was first announced last May. "I am excited by the opportunity to take this to a really intense and twisted new place."
“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,” Lionsgate’s Motion Picture Group chairman Joe Drake also said at the time. "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."
James Wan (The Conjuring) and Leigh Whannell (Upgrade) launched the series during the Halloween season of 2003. Produced on a shoestring budget of $1.2 million, the first Saw went on to make over $100 million at the global box office. Seven sequels of varying quality followed between 2005 and 2017, bringing in more than $980 million from worldwide ticket sales.
We'll try our best to survive when Spiral hits theaters on Friday, May 15.