This is the second weirdest headline of the week. It turns out that Chris Rock—yes, comedian and filmmaker Chris Rock—is a fan of the Saw horror franchise, you know, the torture porn movies with the serial killer who sets elaborate Rube Goldberg traps for his victims. Rock is such a big fan, in fact, that he pitched Lionsgate on a reimagining/spin-off of Saw, which is now being turned into a new movie due in 2020. So the Saw franchise, which had run aground creatively, will be saved thanks to CHRIS ROCK. 2019 is so goddamned weird.
I can’t wrap my head around what a Chris Rock Saw movie will look like, but hopefully it’s a step away from torture porn. The Saw movies were never wholesome family entertainment, but the last few entries in the franchise were truly repugnant. If Rock is so enthusiastic that he pitched his own vision for the franchise, I hope it’s because he sees a way to do Saw without the torture porn. (Alternatively, we could just not do Saw anymore.) All the original Saw people are still involved, though, including franchise co-creators James Wan and Leigh Whannell, and the new movie will be directed by Darren Lynn Bousman, who directed Saws #2-4. So I don’t know how far Rock’s vision can really stray from the source, if all these OG people are involved. I also wonder if this is sort of a response to the success Jordan Peele has had in the horror genre. The industry is probably more receptive to a Saw franchise rebooted by Chris Rock now than it was five years ago, and this might be the opening needed to turn Saw into something more than just torture porn. I sure hope so. I am not interested in seeing any more torture porn from anyone, not even Chris Rock.