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Chris Rock in an Oscars TV spot

The horror genre is in a bit of a renaissance right now. Rather than stale sequels, there are new exciting properties being brought to theaters. These movies are being met with critical and box office acclaim, with projects like Get Out even getting Oscar attention. But the genre is also built on long-running franchises, and it looks like one of the newer classics is going to be getting a reboot: Saw. What's more, comedian Chris Rock is involved in the developing project.

While Chris Rock isn't a name usually associated with horror, he's going to intimately involved with rebooting the Saw franchise, as both an executive producer and story writer. The gore-heavy property has typically been ultra serious and cruel, Rock's point of view and comedic background should help to bring new life. Liongsgate Motion Picture Group chairman Joe Drake issued a statement with the announcement of the forthcoming reboot, explaining:

When Chris Rock came to us and described in chilling detail his fantastic vision that reimagines and spins off the world of the notorious Jigsaw Killer, we were all-in. Saw is one of the highest-grossing horror franchises of all time and it’s one of Lionsgate’s most successful film series. This upcoming film will still be as mind bending and intense as all the previous Saw films. Chris conceived this idea and it will be completely reverential to the legacy of the material while reinvigorating the brand with his wit, creative vision and passion for this classic horror franchise.

The Saw franchise hasn't spent much time out of theaters, but it looks like the next installment will be notably different from its predecessors. And it's arriving soon, as the untitled project is set to hit theaters in October of 2020.

This statement from Lionsgate (via Variety) should illicit a mixture of reactions. Obviously fans of the Saw franchise will be thrilled to see more horrifying traps on the silver screen. But Chris Rock might not be the first person that moviegoers associate with the genre, let alone such an infamously gory one. Then again, the Saw films have generally been formulaic, so perhaps a fresh perspective is what the property needs to remain relevant in the midst of the horror renaissance.

The reverse bear trap

Chris Rock also gave a brief statement regarding his excitement for the upcoming Saw reboot, which he'll be producing and helping create the story for. He said:

I’ve been a fan of Saw since the first film in 2004. I am excited by the opportunity to take this to a really intense and twisted new place.

Twisted is right, as the Saw franchise is classified under the sub-genre "torture porn." Movieogers have watched behind their hands as countless characters are massacred in bloody ways, usually in excruciating physical pain. The sub-genre that was made famous through the Saw and Hostel franchises, although the overall horror world seems to be going in a different direction recently.

If Chris Rock is able to bring something new to the Saw franchise, it could give the property new momentum. To do this, moviegoers going to need more than just the terrifying traps, like character-driven story and some moments of levity. We'll just have to see if Rock can help make this happen.

The Saw reboot will arrive in theaters on October 23, 2020. In the meantime, check out our 2019 release list to plan your next trip to the movies.

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