Entertainment

`Spiral: From the Book of Saw`: it`s dark. It`s bloody. And yes, it`s a Chris Rock movie

Lionsgate’s ‘Spiral: From the Book of Saw’, starring Chris Rock’s executive producer, was born as a sort of recovery for a joke he made in his 2014 satire ‘Top Five’. ‘I played an actor like myself, and a movie appeared. And it’s going against a Tyler Perry movie called ‘Boo,’ ‘Rock says about Zoom. ‘Of course we lose’ Boo ‘in the movie, but the thing is, I made up’ Boo ‘completely. I made up the artwork and it’s all my idea. ” Lionsgate, which has distributed 20 of Perry’s films, loved the idea of ​​being ‘green’ and ‘Boo!’ A Madea Halloween ‘and’ Boo! 2 ‘back to back in 2016 and 2017. “They made two ‘Angers,'” Rock says. ‘They even used the same artwork! Under most circumstances, people find ways to give you a check when you come up with something. ‘ When he ran into the studio’s vice president, Michael Burns, at a wedding, he joked, ‘Hey, where’s my’ Boo ‘check? ‘ “And I was like, ‘While I have you here, I’m just going on the list of Lionsgate properties, like Hmm,’ Hunger Games? ‘ Nothing there for me. Hey, what about ‘Saw?’ Have you ever considered adding humor to ‘Saw’? “It’s one of those things where you do not know when you will be heard, but I was.” Three weeks later, the studio’s executives arranged a meeting between Rock and veteran ‘Saw’ co-producers Mark Burg and Oren Koules. “A lot of the meeting convinced them that I did not want to make ‘Scary Movie,'” the comedian said. “I did not want to make a broad comedy. I think [something more] like ’48 hours’ where you can laugh and be scared at the same time. And they went for it and here we are. ‘ ‘Spiral’, an effect of the popular and lucrative ‘Saw’ horror franchise, looks more like a police procedure than the grim torture porn that the series has developed into eight films and 17 years. Rock plays as a detective in search of a killer targeting officers in a corrupt police department. Samuel L. Jackson plays along as his father, a former police chief, and Max Minghella plays his roommate. “It was quite an exciting and overwhelming experience to read the screenplay for the first time, mostly because of the genre,” says Minghella. ‘I’m really an obsessive ’48 Hours’,’ Beverly Hills Cop, ‘Training Day’, ‘Se7en’. This is probably my favorite genre, the two-police-on-the-trail-of-a-killer movie. I never expected Hollywood to start making them again, let alone that I would be in one, so it felt like a personal dream came true. ” As a result, ‘Spiral’ looks more like the earliest ‘Saw’ movies than the recent franchise entries. “Our goal when we made the first ‘Saw’ film was the film ‘Se7en’,” says Burg. ‘[The series] then went in a different direction for many films. ‘ “They’re getting stronger,” Koules said. ‘But I think this movie is a lot more of a thriller. There are still ‘Saw’ traps, but it’s much more of a procedural thriller than a bloody movie. ‘

Classic Chris Rock

However, director Darren Lynn Bousman, who directed ‘Saw II’, ‘III’ and ‘IV’, says: ‘This is a’ Saw ‘movie. It’s dark, it’s violent, it’s bloody. But there are also moments of liveliness, and there is also a classic Chris Rock in it. “I would consider this film much more commercial and accessible than the previous eight films,” he adds. “Before Chris got involved, we were very serious and everything was dead quiet. I think the playfulness he was able to bring was so fantastic. We never thought it’s OK for the public to laugh, but it’s something I would like to do afterwards. ‘ Written by Josh Stolberg and Peter Goldfinger of the “Jigsaw” writers, a ‘Spiral’ killer is aimed at rogue policemen, including officers who killed unarmed people, lied on the witness stand and covered up corruption in the department. But the filmmakers maintain that the resonance with ongoing protests against police misconduct is merely coincidental. “The ‘Saw’ universe has always been about moralistic lessons,” says Bousman. ‘We wanted to find out what the natural progression of’ Jigsaw ”s message would be. That is, instead of trying to reform individuals, look at institutional reform. And since police have always been a very important B-storyline in the ‘Saw’ universe, it was like the ultimate natural progression. But it’s an unfortunate circumstance that this film has now become more timely in 2021 than when we shot it in 2019. ” “This movie was done before George Floyd or the protests of the summer,” Rock says. ‘It was supposed to come out last May. That it’s out now is a strange coincidence. It’s sad that these circumstances exist, but I think it’s a great time for the release of the film. It will definitely spark a conversation. ‘

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A form of escape

At the same time, Minghella says, “[‘Spiral’] is very much designed as escape and entertainment. I think the film absolutely touches on things that are for the time being … but I also do not think it tries to serve anyone their civilian vegetables. ” As part of his pitch, Rock submitted a treatment outlining his vision for the spin-off. “We more or less had an agreement where I was the head of the comedy and Oren and Mark took the lead on the drama and the blood,” he says. ‘Actually, I could say almost anything I wanted, but I could not undermine the scarcity of the film; I could say nothing that would make the horror not work. There’s no moment where I’m mocking the movie [and] I think it’s important to work. ” He also hand-picked Minghella to play his partner, something the ‘Handmaid’s Tale’ actor still finds difficult to turn his head. “I met Chris at a party and he said to me, ‘We’re going to work together,'” Minghella recalls. ‘When I got the text, I was pretty excited. I did not know what kind of narrative it was going to be, but I was very glad that I was able to participate in it in a meaningful way. ” “I had a great time with Max,” says Rock. ‘I like him in everything I’ve seen him do. I always respect a man who has hits. I wanted someone to see him when people thought ‘Oh, it’s gonna be okay’, and Max is one of those people. ‘ “I’m still not convinced he chose the right person,” jokes Minghella. ‘I’m pretty sure he thinks I’m Alden Ehrenreich or someone else and he will realize [his error] at some point. “ An early version of the script had Rock’s character associated with detective David Tapp of Danny Glover from the first film. But ‘it just did not pass the smell test’, says Stolberg on the podcast of The Production Meeting. Burg therefore reached out to Jackson to play the retired police chief, Marcus Banks. ‘We were surprised [he and Rock] have never worked together, ”says the producer. ‘It turns out Sam’s a’ Saw ‘fan and knows about the franchise. He was like ‘Play Chris Rock’s dad? Sure why not, I’m in. ‘” “It’s so funny that people keep going. ‘It’s so weird he’s playing your dad,’ Rock says. ‘Sam is 20 years older than me. Sam can absolutely play my dad. I loved working together [him]. Honestly, probably the first day or two I was just so awe-inspiring to him that I did not relax. “I know we are technically peers, but I look at him like this premature actor next to Sidney Poitier,” he adds. ‘And it’s weird, we started in movies at about the same time. He brought it to me, [that] I did ‘New Jack City’ by the time they did ‘Jungle Fever’. Wesley Snipes literally went from one set to another. But my god, the man made a thousand more movies at the same time than I did. ”

Career heights

Rock began as a stand-up comedian before breaking out in the early 90s with Chris Farley, Adam Sandler, Rob Schneider and David Spade as a cast on ‘Saturday Night Live’. Over the course of his comedy career of nearly four decades, he has collected four Emmys and three Grammys, but now the 56-year-old comic is ready to focus his attention on more dramatic work. “You have to make adjustments as you get older,” he says. “You can not do exactly the same things as you always did. I think it would be stupid to be in my 50s and chasing Air Force Ones and a soccer jersey chasing bad guys. When I got older, I was like, ‘OK, I have to turn around. I need to focus on more drama. ‘Even when I’m doing comedy, it has to have dramatic undertones so that I do not even read stupid things anymore. ” ‘Top Five’ was an early step in that direction. He also starred in the 2011 Broadway production of ‘The’ [Expletive] with the Hat ‘along with Bobby Cannavale and Annabella Sciorra and made a rare dramatic turn in the fourth season of the FX series’ Fargo’, which was released last year. “So I’ve been trying to work with more content outside of my stand-up for a few years,” he says. He hopes to continue exploring genres, including more horrors, but ‘a lot depends on how this one does’, he says. “If it’s a hit, listen. [Let’s do] “Nightmare in Chris Rock Street.” ‘ Initially, Rock intended to direct ‘Spiral’, but he could not make it work with his ‘Fargo’ schedule. But if a ‘Spiral’ was pursued, he would be ‘absolutely’ interested in directing. “I think Darren did a good job, which is why I do not want to step on anyone’s toes, but especially if I can think of an even more original idea than we just did, I’m definitely open to it.” he says. “You just do not want to be the man to kill it,” he adds. ‘Like’ Ugh, that was fine until Chris Rock showed up. “I did not want to be that man. I wanted to be like Michael B. Jordan with ‘Creed’. Like ‘Oh, we have a whole new thing here. It got a new life. ‘So I hope I made it. ‘