‘Spiral’: These ‘Saw’ Clues from the Chris Rock and Samuel L. Jackson Trailer Explained

When Chris Rock announced he was developing a new movie in the Saw series, it was a surprise. Most known for comedy, Rock pitched a story for a reboot of the horror franchise. In a May 16, 2019 announcement, Rock said, “I am excited by the opportunity to take this to a really intense and twisted new place.” Now the teaser trailer for Spiral, “from the book of Saw” offers some hints about how Rock’s movie, costarring Samuel L. Jackson, connects to Saw. [Warning, the trailer is NSFW.]

Chris Rock | Brooke Palmer/Lionsgate

There have been eight Saw films so far. Considering John Kramer (Tobin Bell), the Jigsaw killer, died in Saw III, it’s impressive that he was in all eight, though there’s no sight of him in Spiral. Kramer was dying of cancer and felt other people were ungrateful for the long potential lives they were given. So he put them in traps where they would have to sacrifice to escape. Here are a few Saw clues from the Spiral trailer. 

Saw II, III and IV director Darren Lynn Bousman returns. Jigsaw writers Josh Stolberg and Pete Goldfinger adapted Rock’s story into the screenplay. Spiral is in theaters May 15, 2020.

The ‘Saw’ Billy doll shows up for Samuel L. Jackson in ‘Spiral’

John Kramer was an inventor, but all he wanted to be was a father. When his wife was pregnant, he started building toys for his future son. Now, it’s questionable how that creepy Billy doll was ever intended to be a child’s toy, but that’s the backstory. Sadly, tragedy befell Kramer’s family and they lost the baby. 

Samuel L. Jackson in Spiral
Samuel L. Jackson | Brooke Palmer/Lionsgate

At 1:09 into the Spiral trailer, Samuel L. Jackson sees the Billy doll from a distance in the subway. With no son, Kramer/Jigsaw would send Billy on his creepy tricycle to his victims, often with the recording of instructions for how to escape his trap. 

The spiral Chris Rock sees comes from ‘Saw’

The spiral marking is what Jigsaw painted on Billy’s cheeks. Now the Spiral trailer shows spirals left all over the crime scenes. Rock’s Det. Banks comes across a wall painted full of spirals.

Jigsaw’s signature was a piece of a Jigsaw puzzle. Whoever the Spiral killer is has taken inspiration from another part of Jigsaw’s mythology.

‘Spiral’ still uses a good old fashioned ‘Saw’ head trap

The very first trap designed for a Saw moviewas the reverse bear trap. When James Wan and Leigh Whannell made a short film, it was the scene of a victim trying to find the key before the trap sprung his head wide open. In the movie, Amanda Young (Shawnee Smith) escaped the head trap and became Jigsaw’s main disciple.

At 1:22 into the Spiral trailer, you can see a much more elaborate head trap. It involves chains and pulleys, but it’s still in the spirit of Jigsaw. You can’t see who the victim is because his head is totally encased.

Samuel L. Jackson repeats Jigsaw’s line 

Leave it to Samuel L. Jackson to make the Spiral trailer NSFW. He paraphrases Jigsaw’s signature line, but adds his own expletive to it. 

Spiral: Samuel L. Jackon, Darren Lynn Bousman and Chris Rock
L-R: Samuel L. Jackson, Darren Lynn Bousman and Chris Rock | Brooke Palmer/Lionsgate

Jigsaw always greeted his victims with, “I’d like to play a game.” Jackson’s character says, “You want to play games, motherf*cker?” Something tells us whoever is on the other end of that scene will accept Jackson’s invitation.

Chris Rock in the bathroom trap takes ‘Spiral’ back to the beginning

The original Saw centered around Dr. Gordon (Cary Elwes) and Adam (Whannell) chained to opposite ends of a bathroom. Flashbacks filled in the story of Jigsaw, but the game was to see which one would saw their leg off first. 

Saw sequel Spiral: Marisol Nichols and Chris Rock
Marisol Nichols and Chris Rock | Brooke Palmer/Lionsgate

At the end of the Spiral trailer, Rock’s character Det. Banks wakes up chained to another bathroom. He’s got the same rusty hacksaw in his hand. Rock may be rebooting Saw but he’s still got a taste for the classics.