Exclusive: Spiral’s Darren Lynn Bousman on return to Saw & working with Chris Rock
While audiences may still have to wait a while for the highly-anticipated ninth installment in the Saw franchise, Spiral, ComingSoon.net got the opportunity to dive a bit further into the project with director Darren Lynn Bousman, as well as his return to the series and working with executive producer, story author and star Chris Rock!
While chatting with the 41-year-old filmmaker for his latest project, the Maggie Q-starring Death of Me, Bousman noted his disappointment in having to delay Spiral a year after its original release due to the global pandemic, but expresses he is “confident enough in the movie to say it will be worth the wait” and describing it as “intense,” “awesome,” “horrific” and stating that “Chris Rock kills it, he fucking kills it.”
The upcoming film also marks the first time in 13 years Bousman has sat in the director’s chair for the franchise after being “pretty vocal” about his disinterest in wanting to return, but that after Rock came to producers with the “unique take on a Saw movie” and the producers subsequently came to him, he had a change of heart.
“I guess I’ve learned to never say never because when I was presented with the idea and heard Chris’ take on it, I was like, ‘Shit, that’s good,'” Bousman recalled. “They were like, ‘Yeah,’ so I signed up immediately. I’m just excited, it’s really a unique take and a way to kind of relaunch the franchise while still paying massive homage to what came before it.”
Growing up in the ’80s and ’90s, Bousman came to be “a huge fan” of Rock’s comedy and found that he was “really intimidated by the idea” that he would be directing the comedian, “specifically knowing it was his idea” and even pointing out Rock himself is a director, but his fears were extinguished as Rock “could not have been more collaborative and cool” on set.
“I think there were two times on set that he pulled me aside and said, ‘Hey, am I overstepping or can I give you a suggestion?'” Bousman related. “Both times he did it, he improved the scene and scenario 100 fold and that was kind of awesome and then on top of that, he would back me on a lot of things. There would obviously be creative disagreements with the producers and myself and Chris, 95 percent of the time, would listen to my idea and be like, ‘No, that’s dope, what he’s talking about is cool.’ Chris and I bonded almost immediately and he was an awesome collaborator on the process.”
Having worked in the franchise prior, Bousman discussed that one of his major objectives in returning to the film was to give it “its own unique look” to fit the unique nature of its story, choosing to move away from “the traditional Saw look of the greens and all of that” and that while working with his “insane” and “fantastic” cinematographer Jordan Oram, a thought sprouted out for the look and feel of the film.
“It started with an idea of ‘What if we made this movie take place on the hottest day of the summer?'” Bousman stated. “This is obviously not the first movie to do it, there’s a ton of amazing movies, Spike Lee’s done it with some of his movies, Angel Heart does it where heat plays a huge role in the film and so in this film, heat plays a very important role. So Jordan and I went out to make every environment feel hot and that goes from air conditioning being broken to a sun always being down on people, which creates a claustrophobic kind of feel without having to make the movie claustrophobic.”
This particular installment of the long-running horror franchise comes from a story by Rock, who will co-star with Samuel L. Jackson. Rock plays a police detective investigating a series of grizzly crimes, with Jackson playing his father. They’re joined in the film by Max Minghella who plays William Schenk, Rock’s partner and Marisol Nichols as Capt. Angie Garza, Rock’s boss.
The ninth Saw film will offer fans worldwide a new amped up level of deviously treacherous traps, clever clues and the edge-of-the-seat suspense they expect from the one of the world’s most terrifying horror franchises.
The film will be produced by longtime Saw producers Mark Burg and Oren Koules – who are back once again to shepherd this re-imagining, which will be directed by Darren Lynn Bousman, who helmed three of the most successful films in the Saw franchise. The screenplay is based on a story conceived by Rock and written by Pete Goldfinger and Josh Stolberg (Jigsaw). The film will be executive produced by Chris Rock, long-time Saw executive producer Daniel Heffner and the original creators of Saw, James Wan and Leigh Whannell.
Spiral: From the Book of Saw is due in theaters on May 21, 2021 while Death of Me is set to hit select theaters, digital platforms and VOD on October 2!