Spiral: Everything We Know About The New Saw Movie
While no one was particularly surprised when it was announced in May 2019 that a new Saw movie was on the way, the fact that comedian Chris Rock was set to co-write and star in it was unexpected. But it turns out that Rock is a long-time fan of the series, and two months later, the next Saw movie was in production.
Saw is one of the most successful horror franchises of the past two decades. The original 2004 movie, which was directed by James Wan and written by Wan and Leigh Whannell, was a huge hit, grossing $103 million from a tiny budget of $1.2 million. The film's inventive blend of gritty cop thriller and intense horror kickstarted a series that was known for its inventively gruesome set-pieces and increasingly complicated storylines. The insane trap-setting maniac Jigsaw became one of horror's most iconic villains, and the series inspired a whole sub-genre of gory imitators.
Of course, no movie series remains popular forever, and the commercial disappointment of 2010's seventh movie, Saw 3D, led the franchise to take a much-needed rest. Seven years went by before 2017's Jigsaw. While this prequel/reboot didn't quite hit the box office heights that the series did a decade earlier, it was successful enough to show that interest was still there. The ninth Saw movie is set for release in May--it's titled Spiral: From the Book of Saw and looks set to take the series in another intriguing direction. So here's everything we know so far about it...
What's with that title?
The movie was shot under the working title of The Organ Donor, but the actual name wasn't revealed until the first poster and trailer arrived in February. And there's no getting away from the fact it's a bit long-winded--and what, exactly, is "The Book of Saw"? But the spiral clearly refers to the distinctive icon that appears on the cheeks of the series's scary doll Billy, and if this movie is trying to form its own identity beyond it simply being Saw 9, then a brand-new title is the way to do it.
Who are the stars?
Spiral stars Chris Rock, who plays a police detective named Ezekiel Banks. Max Minghella (The Social Network) plays his partner, Detective Schenk. There's also a role for Samuel L. Jackson as Ezekiel's father Marcus, and Riverdale's Marisol Nichols plays Captain Angie Garza.
Who wrote it?
The initial story for Spiral was written by Rock. It turns out he's a long-time Saw fan, and approached Lionsgate, which produces the series, with an idea for a new movie. In a recent interview with Collider, Rock explained that he also wanted to make a horror movie as it was "an adventure I haven't been on." The screenplay was then written by Josh Stolberg and Peter Goldfinger, who previously wrote Jigsaw as well as the 2010 killer fish hit Piranha 3D.
Who's the director?
Spiral sees the return of director Darren Lynn Bousman. While Bousman hasn't made a Saw movie since 2007, he previously helmed Saw II, III, and IV, making him the director who has been involved with the most films in the series.
What's the plot?
Spiral isn't a remake and exists in the same universe as the previous films. However, from trailer and synopsis, it's clearly that the movie is more than just a retread of what we've already seen. Detectives Banks and Schenk are investigating a series of murders that bear strong similarities to the reign of terror carried out by the evil Jigsaw. The distinctive spiral logo is found painted onto walls near the crime, and the synopsis states that "Zeke finds himself at the center of the killer's morbid game." Jigsaw himself died back in Saw III, but that didn't stop his acolytes carrying on his insane mission in the subsequent films. And while the trailer doesn't focus on the outlandish trap-setting torture scenes that the series is notorious for, there's enough brief shots to remind us this is definitely still a Saw movie.
There's no reason to think that this will be the final Saw movie. While it's true that the commercial disappointment of Saw 3D meant that we had to wait seven years for Jigsaw, that movie was a box office success, paving the way for Spiral. This is the horror genre after all--no popular franchise ever goes away, even if it stays dormant for a while. And of course, if Spiral is a hit, then expect Spiral 2 to be announced soon after.