Chris Rock never appeared in one of Tyler Perry's Madea movies, which makes the connections between the two that much more interesting. Chris Rock basically created the idea for a Madea film as a joke, and that movie would end up not only becoming a real project but one of the most successful in the franchise. And it turns out, that whole process actually led to Chris Rock producing and starring in a very un-Medea project, the Saw spinoff Spiral.
In Chris Rock's comedy Top Five, Rock's character is disappointed to learn that his new serious dramatic film has been trounced at the box office by a new Tyler Perry movie called Boo!. This joke eventually led to Lionsgate studio, the producer of the Madea films to suggest to Perry that he make a Halloween movie, and Tyler Perry's Boo A Madea Halloween would go on to gross over $70 million and even spawn a direct sequel.
But it turns out the story doesn't even end there. In a recent profile in THR, Chris Rock explains that he later ran into the head of Lionsgate at a wedding, and he gave the man a hard time over the fact that the Madea movie had done so well, and Rock, who had technically been the catalyst for the idea, didn't get a check, or even a thank you. Rock says now...
I don’t even think I got a special thanks. And I’m not complaining, I’m just saying, I’ve seen a bone thrown for a lot less.
However, Chris Rock would end up getting a lot more than a special thanks in a movie's credits. The conversation would then shift to the Saw franchise, of which Rock was a fan, and he suggested to the studio chief that they make another one in a comedic style, something akin to Eddie Murphy's 48 Hours. This would result in Rock connecting with Saw producer Mark Berg, and the deal would be struck that would eventually become Spiral.
Chris Rock would go on to produce and star in the new film, and apparently the actor would have directed the movie as well, his first feature film directorial job since Top Five, which would have brought everything full circle. Unfortunately, Rock's commitments to the Fargo TV series would make directing impossible.
Spiral was supposed to be released this past May, but the film was delayed along with every other movie that was supposed to come out this May. Rather than only delay a few months, Spiral pushed itself off a whole year, which is looking more and more like it was the right decision to make considering that movies are only just now returning to theaters, and the box office support of those movies is still not there.