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ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT

The 'Saw' Franchise Returns with Chris Rock, Samuel L Jackson and More Gruesome Murders

The ninth film in the series, 'Spiral: From the Book of Saw' follows a new spate of killings — and the cops trying to solve them.
By Sarah Ward
February 09, 2020
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The 'Saw' Franchise Returns with Chris Rock, Samuel L Jackson and More Gruesome Murders

The ninth film in the series, 'Spiral: From the Book of Saw' follows a new spate of killings — and the cops trying to solve them.
By Sarah Ward
February 09, 2020
  shares

UPDATE, MARCH 18: Due to concerns around COVID-19, Spiral: From the Book of Saw will no longer release on its initially scheduled date of Thursday, May 14, 2020. At present, a new release date has not been announced — we'll update you when one has been revealed.

To find out more about the status of COVID-19 in Australia and how to protect yourself, head to the Australian Government Department of Health's website.

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In 2003, James Wan and Leigh Whannell made a short film that completely changed the Australian duo's careers. These days Wan is known for directing everything from Fast and Furious 7 to Aquaman, while Whannell has jumped behind the lens on Upgrade and the upcoming The Invisible Man — but none of that might have happened if it wasn't for the Saw franchise.

Running for just under ten minutes, the original Saw short was designed to help the Aussie filmmakers secure funding to make a feature — a horror flick of the same name, in fact. Not only did it achieve that aim, but it sparked a long-running big-screen series about the twisted Jigsaw Killer. And this unnerving saga just keeps spawning sequels.

Spiral: From the Book of Saw is the latest Saw instalment, marking the franchise's ninth outing. Whenever a horror movie series starts approaching double digits, it can prove a case of diminishing returns; however Spiral has a few aces up its sleeves. Wan and Whannell have long since stepped back from leading the charge, instead taking on roles as executive producers — but the newest flick to spring from their gruesome short film stars Chris Rock and Samuel L Jackson.

As the just-dropped first Spiral trailer shows, Rock plays Detective Ezekiel 'Zeke' Banks. With his rookie partner William Schenk (Max Minghella), he's soon investigating a spate of gory murders. For seasoned Saw fans, these killings should look more than a little familiar. Naturally, because that's how this series works, it doesn't take long for Banks to get caught up in a game with the perpetrator.

The fact that Spiral is directed by Saw II, Saw III and Saw IV's Darren Lynn Bousman might temper your curiosity a little. Indeed, the last few Saw films mightn't inspire much confidence  either — including 2017's Jigsaw, as directed by fellow Aussies Michael and Peter Spierig (Winchester). But seeing Rock and Jackson step into this franchise is intriguing at the very least. In case you were wondering, Jackson plays another police veteran with ties to the case, busting out his usual swaggering, swearing on-screen persona in the process.

Check out the Spiral trailer below:

Spiral was due to open in Australian cinemas on May 14, 2020; however it'll now release on a yet-to-be-revealed date — we'll update you when one is announced.

Published on February 09, 2020 by Sarah Ward

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