Tobin Bell would be more than happy to reprise killer role in Saw 9 and already knows which part of Jigsaw’s backstory he’d like to explore next. They may be known for their gore and twists, but the real star of the Saw show is Tobin Bell. From the moment he was revealed as the Jigsaw killer in the final moments of the first movie, the franchise has been focused on explaining John Kramer’s warped view of blood-letting justice, with family tragedy and scheming apprentices aplenty. Even after his death in Saw III, the character remained through legacy and the actor with rug-pulling flashbacks aplenty.
In Jigsaw, the eighth entry coming years after the original run wrapped up, we got an extra piece of the puzzle: Kramer’s first game. He’s become defined by his intricate traps, but this barn-set adventure was a new extreme and saw a green murderer/game-master perfecting his craft. Because of how the film wrapped up, many had assumed there was unlikely to be more to story, but reports have recently suggested a ninth movie is in development, and it sounds like Bell is game.
Screen Rant recently caught up with the actor for the home video release of Jigsaw. We talked about how he got back involved with the series – “the phone rang” – and how the role took about ten days to film, a good portion of which was spent mastering a bit of real Kramer skill – deconstructing the mechanism in the workshop during the big reveal – before moving to what the future holds. While no firm plans are set (when asked about Saw continuing without Kramer, he immediately responded, “it’s called show business for a reason“), Bell seemed very open to returning as Kramer – and not just from a work standpoint but a story one:
“If they were to continue I’m always interested. Actors act. That’s what we do. And I’m always interested in expanding a character and filling him in if there’s more story to be told. And when the writing is good and makes people think, and is surprising and intricate and something new. So yes, I’m interested in participating in that. And are there aspects of John that I would like to sing about? Yeah, there are. I don’t know that we have truly talked about the origins of Billy. And that’s as much as I’ll say about that.”
Billy the Puppet is the mascot of the Saw franchise, an ungodly creepy creation that would give Annabelle (also created by Saw‘s James Wan) a fright. We actually did learn his origins in Saw IV, where it was revealed Kramer created the figure as a toy for his unborn child, the premature death of which started his spiral and thus imbued Billy with contextual darkness. So, yes, Saw has talked about this aspect before, something the very committed Bell would surely know. His focus on it would suggest there’s more to be told, perhaps why John would make something so horrific for a newborn.
Or it may link to a bigger hunger for the actor. Bell went on to talk about what really kept drawing him back beyond the simple promise of work – the depth of Kramer:
“One of the things about Saw that has been there since James Wan and Leigh Warnell created the project back in 2003 is that what you see is not necessarily what you get. Something is right in front of you… If John is anything, he is a master of deception. He anticipates what’s going to happen and he adjusts and he conducts his business based on his appraisal of the people involved. So that’s what’s most fascinating to me about Saw is this slight of hand that John is master of, and has been since Day 1.”
That “master of deception” line shouldn’t be taken as a hint at some massive twist to come, but instead highlights that what brings Bell back is the same thing as does the fans: constant twists and turns.
Jigsaw is available now on Digital, Blu-Ray and DVD. You can follow Tobin Bell on Twitter @officialtobin.
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