This story is going to get into spoilers for Spiral: From the Book of Saw, so stop reading now unless you want the ending ruined for you.
On multiple levels, Darren Bousman’s new Spiral: From the Book of Saw is a complete deviation from the existing franchise. Yes, there are elaborate and deadly traps. But franchise legend Tobin Bell is nowhere to be seen, and the Spiral cast instead boasts heavy hitters in Chris Rock, Max Minghella and Samuel L. Jackson. That seemed very surprising to us, and apparently it was very surprising to Bousman as well. While he was thrilled to get the opportunity to work with the Pulp Fiction icon -- because really, who wouldn’t -- Bousman couldn’t help but ask Jackson on set one day about why he was agreeing to appear in a Saw sequel. The fantastic story is in the video above.
Here’s the thing. By this point in his career, Samuel L. Jackson doesn’t need to take any role. The man no doubt has made more money from his craft than the next ten generations of his family could spend. He’s been integral parts of both the Star Wars and the Marvel franchises. He’s collaborated with some of the greatest filmmakers on the planet. But he’s also 72 years old, and likely would prefer to be on a golf course instead of a film set any day of the week. So why on Earth would Jackson agree to place himself in an elaborate Saw trap that strings him like like a marionette, with his “blood” flowing out in disgusting tubes that threaten to bleed his character out.
As Darren Bousman recalls about that fateful day on the set of Spiral:
I asked him. I go, ‘Why would you do this movie? I mean, you’ve got a million offers. We’re not making your quote.’ And he goes, ‘Any time that I can do an insane sequence that I’ve never done before, such as being a marionette and (hanging) up there?’ He’s like, ‘I’ll do it.’ And so, he was absolutely game. But I’ll tell you one thing, and this is advice for any filmmakers who may want to work with the great Mr. Samuel L. Jackson. Know your shit. Don’t put him up there and be like, ‘Let’s figure this out.’ … You go up there with your storyboards, your shot list. … He was totally cool, but he’s not a guy to suffer fools lightly.
This makes me appreciate Samuel L. Jackson even more, as if that were even possible. At a time when he could cost on his reputation, he’s still out there scouring for new opportunities that will challenge him, and allow him to try things he’s never experienced in his storied career. The minute I saw him dangling from that deadly trap in Spiral, I immediately thought, “How the hell did they get HIM up there?” And now we know how.
Spiral: From the Book of Saw takes the legend in a new direction. It’s available in theaters as we speak.