The seventh film in the Saw franchise is called Saw 3D: The Final Chapter and its marketing campaign is loaded with taglines like, “Witness the final cut,” but did you really think that would force Lionsgate to wrap the series up and call it quits? Not when that final installment cost $20 million to make and went on to take over $136 million at the worldwide box office.
Back in November, news broke that Lionsgate was actively developing a new installment. There were no concrete details regarding the narrative, but there are quite a few routes they can take – straight continuation, reboot, prequel, sequel, spinoff, and maybe more. However, no matter what spin Lionsgate is considering putting on it, Leigh Whannell has nothing to do with it.
Whannell is responsible for creating the Saw concept with James Wan and penning the first three installments, but while talking to the screenwriter about his SXSW official selection, The Mule, he confirmed he’s not involved in this effort whatsoever. When asked if Saw 8 is the real deal, Whannell replied:
“A lot of people have been tweeting me about that and to my knowledge, no … I haven’t heard anyone from Lionsgate tell me anything and I’m certainly not involved in anything, so I don’t think it is.”
As the brains behind this whole thing, you’d think Whannell and Wan would have to be in on the plan to a degree for Lionsgate to continue using the material, suggesting all of this Saw 8 talk could just be pure gossip and nothing more.
But even if that is the case, the possibility of Lionsgate pulling the trigger on more Saw movies will always exist so it’s worth asking, do we even need more of these? Making more makes sense financially, but the quality of the films and, therefore, the enthusiasm around them has experienced a sharp decline over the years. Is enough enough? Is the concept completely tapped? Whannell gave us his personal opinion on whether or not it’s worth circling back for more:
“Maybe. If it was the same team and they were going in with the right attitude of really wanting to do something different and not just kind of milking the sequels. But I feel that I would almost be a detriment. I feel like I have contributed all I can to that character and I would almost want to see someone new come in because they would have a fresh set of eyes and probably new ideas whereas I kind of did my time on that, so I probably wouldn’t want to be involved. But I wouldn't mind if they did. As long as they came to it with something crazy and new, you know?”
After suffering through one too many wash, rinse and repeat-type Saw experiences, there is little to no interest in more, but Whannell does have a point. Should Lionsgate track down fresh talent capable of pinpointing an untapped, stimulating part of this world, why not give it a go? When you take the series’ track record into account, that is the less likely scenario, but, on the off chance there really is a fresh set of eyes out there who sees what the franchise lost since the release of the original back in 2004, that could justify another go-around.
Follow Perri on Twitter @PNemiroff.