The new Saw movie just keeps getting weirder. It was announced in May that the horror franchise was getting a spinoff based on an original idea by none other than Chris Rock, who would co-star in and produce the film. Now today Lionsgate has announced that Samuel L. Jackson is joining the cast to play the father of Rock’s character.
Filming is currently underway on the still-untitled Saw spinoff, and Rock is playing a police detective investigating a series of grizzly crimes. Also joining the cast is Max Minghella (The Social Network) as Rock’s partner William Schenk and Marisol Nichols (Riverdale) as Rock’s boss Capt. Angie Garza.
“We think Samuel L. Jackson and Chris Rock along with Max Minghella and Marisol Nichols make this film completely special in the Saw canon and we can’t wait to unleash this unexpected and sinister new story on fans of this franchise. This is next level of Saw on full tilt,” said Joe Drake, Chairman of the Lionsgate Motion Picture Group.
Specific plot details are under wraps, as is how this ties into the mainstay Saw franchise, but the film sees longtime Saw producers Mark Burg and Oren Koules returning to produce this “re-imagining,” while Darren Lynn Bousman—who directed Saw II, Saw III, and Saw IV—returning to take the helm. Jigsaw writers Pete Goldfinger and Josh Stolberg wrote the screenplay. So all the behind-the-scenes players are Saw regulars, working from a new idea by Chris Rock.
While the Saw franchise hasn’t been critically relevant for some time, 2017’s Jigsaw crossed $100 million worldwide at the box office seven years after the most recent Saw entry, 2010’s Saw 3D. There’s no way Lionsgate was gonna let a franchise like this sit dormant forever, and if it had to come back, why not let someone like Chris Rock take a crack at it? At the very least it should be interesting, no?
The film currently does not have a release date, but I wouldn’t be surprised if it hit theaters either next October—which is the traditional release window for Saw movies—or if Lionsgate attempts to event-ize this new version, it could arrive with a splashy summer 2020 release date. We’ll surely find out.