'Spiral' Director Darren Lynn Bousman on Reinventing 'Saw' and the One Scene That Was a "Big Problem" for the MPAA [Interview]

Director Darren Lynn Bousman didn’t create Saw, but he arguably defined it. Following the success of the first film, Bousman was handed the reins of the series and transformed it into a decade-defining horror franchise with Saw II, Saw III, and Saw IV. The elements we remember most – the increasingly gruesome traps, the ensemble of victims ensnared in a series of brutal challenges, the shockingly tight continuity – were all born on his watch.

And after over a decade away from the world of Jigsaw, Bousman is back with Spiral: From the Book of Saw. Less of a direct sequel and more of a separate story set in the world of the previous films, the ninth entry in the series is a police procedural starring Chris Rock as a detective on the trail of a Jigsaw copycat killer targeting cops. This new approach allowed Bousman to make a Saw movie without making a Saw movie, keeping just enough to tie the film to the larger franchise while forging its own identity.

/Film sat down with Bousman to discuss the meeting with Chris Rock that got him back in the director’s chair, the film’s big shift in style from the rest of the series, and the one scene that had to be trimmed to appease the MPAA.

This interview has been edited for length and clarity.

Spiral: From the Book of Saw is in theaters now.

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