After lying dormant since the release of Saw 3D: The Final Chapter in 2010, the last couple of weeks have seen a flood of news on the resurrection of the popular Saw franchise, reportedly titled Saw: Legacy. Lionsgate was first reported to be working on the film back in February, with series creators James Wan and Leigh Whannell on-board as executive producers, and the duo of Josh Stolberg and Pete Goldfinger (Piranha 3D) set to write the script.
Last week brought the news that Legacy was due to begin filming in Toronto this September, and this week saw the reveal of Australian brother duo Michael and Peter Spierig (Daybreakers) as Legacy's co-directors. However, all this transpired with no official confirmation from Lionsgate. Until now.
Deadline is reporting that Lionsgate has set a release date of October 27th, 2017 for the Saw franchise's latest installment, although the studio is apparently listing it simply as an "untitled Saw movie." This suggests that perhaps Saw: Legacy is only a working title, and might be changed before the film actually arrives in theaters.
This right-before-Halloween release date falls in line with the previous Saw entries, which have all made their theatrical debuts in late October. For much of the last decade, Saw was seen as America's preeminent Halloween tradition among theatrically released movies, before losing that spot to the Paranormal Activity franchise. With that found footage series having come to an end last year - at least for now - Lionsgate clearly sees the opportunity to reclaim the October horror crown Saw once held. Saw: Legacy - or whatever it might end up being called - is so far the only wide release film to be scheduled for its date, although competing horror sequel Insidious: Chapter 4 is set to open the previous weekend.
In an age where seemingly every high-profile film release gets months and months of hype even prior to the start of production, it feels odd that the return of such a celebrated franchise just seemed to come out of nowhere. After the initial reports of Saw: Legacy's existence early this year, not a peep was heard until a production listing revealed its September-October shooting schedule last week. Now the film has an official release date, and it's less than 18 months away.
Can the Saw franchise recapture Jigsaw's glory, even with John Kramer now long since deceased? Or is this a saga that should have called it quits long ago? Next Halloween, moviegoers will provide the answer when they decide whether or not they want to play this deadly game once again.
Saw: Legacy arrives in theaters on October 27th, 2017.