The horror franchise Saw has been given new life through the recent in-continuity spin-off film Spiral, and a big part of making that movie a reality depended on getting Samuel L. Jackson involved.
It has been said that comedian and actor Chris Rock has had a longstanding love for the Saw universe, which led to the recent revival that intended to create its own world. Rock had an "idea" that he pushed to make the film, and a major piece of the puzzle involved getting Jackson involved as Rock's father and hardened former officer. In a new interview, that importance was declared publically by Rock and the film's writers Josh Stolberg and Pete Goldfinger.
Regarding Jackson's role, Rock explains via Lionsgate's YouTube channel, "I remember they said, 'What do you think about Sam?' I'm like, 'Whatever you have to do to get Sam. Sam Jackson, one of the greatest actors that ever lived. Whatever you have to do. Except take my money. No, you can take my money.' The day they told me they got Sam, I was like, 'Wow. It's on.'"
Goldfinger elaborated about the choice, noting, "Sam Jackson would not have come on board if it were not for Chris Rock. Let's start right there. All the props go to Chris Rock for Sam Jackson coming on board. But, when Sam Jackson came on, it suddenly, now truly the biggest Saw movie ever, just in terms of noticeable cast. I mean, we were already there with Chris. I mean, Chris Rock would have been the biggest name to ever be a part of a Saw movie, and now you have Samuel Jackson coming in, so everything gets bigger."
Spiral ended up pushing the Saw franchise past the one billion mark for its box office achievements, with a lot of buzz around continuing with (much) more content to come. There have been discussions about an interest in sequels for both Spiral and Saw, with a Saw X being an entity of its own. There are even conversations about interest in a Saw/Spiral television series in the future. So with a lot of big names and mainstream presence, Jigsaw and those inspired by him won't be going anywhere.