Word has spread fast like blood spilling from an iron maiden that the Lionsgate/Twisted Pictures partnership is officially spawning the inevitable third chapter in the SAW franchise. Director Darren Lynn Bousman will return from the previous entry to helm SAW III, which is slated for release October 27; SAW architects James Wan and Leigh Whannell are also back, teaming with the latter on scripting duties based on a story the pair cooked up.
Hours after this announcement hit the street, Fango spoke with Bousman, “We obviously knew there was going to be a third film, and we knew we’d all be involved from a producing standpoint,” he says; one significant catalyst that reinforced his, Wan and Whannell’s dedication to the sequel involved the passing of SAW producer and Twisted Pictures co-founder Gregg Hoffman last December. “Leigh, James and myself all started meeting weekly and talking about stories, and we’ve come up with one we really like. Originally, we took it to Mark [Burg] and Oren [Koules] of Twisted Pictures and started to look for other directors and, at one point, other writers. But the more we talked, the more we realized that this was a no-brainer. We had to end the SAW trilogy. Not the SAW franchise, but this trilogy between the three of us. We had to see this thing through.”
Bousman struck up a three-picture deal with the newly formed Weinstein Co. days after SAW II’s release, but is now putting any projects he currently has with them on temporary hold. “The Weinsteins were kind enough to allow me to go and make this film. I’m really excited, but it’s going to be a tough year ’cause I’m gonna go from SAW III right into the film I’m doing for them.” He adds that everyone will be returning for Jigsaw’s latest adventure, from production designer David Hackl to composer Charlie Clouser. “We’re even heading to the same stages and production offices we used in Toronto.”
With yet another intimidating release date now looming over his head, the director remains unflappable. A year ago today, Bousman was on his way to Toronto to helm the identically time-pressured SAW II, which became one of last year’s biggest horror hits. And like one of Jigsaw’s sinister traps, the countdown is on to see if that success can be replicated once more. “Leigh is off writing the first draft right now and doing his own thing,” teases Bousman, a pro now at dancing around any plot specifics. “As things progress and as we near shooting, I might do a polish.
“This one is for the fans,” he promises. “It’s a complete fan-based movie; there are no studio execs telling us what they want to see here. This is for the SAW buffs in every aspect, and it’s going to have a lot of stuff they won’t expect to see. And believe me, they ain’t seen anything yet. The opening deaths in this film are going to put SAW II to shame.”