Commenting on the Critics with Simon Columb…
Picked up by Ben Child for The Guardian, Bloody Disgusting writes about a possible reboot/remake/sequel to the Saw series. It seems Saw: The Final Chapter wasn’t final…
“Sources we trust tell Bloody exclusively that Lionsgate is tinkering with the idea of rebooting the Saw franchise, although an eighth film isn’t out of the cards. It should also be noted that nothing is official, and nothing has been decided. Things are at infant stages at this time, but rest assured, Jigsaw will return.“
Read the full article here.
I’ll bet they are ‘tinkering’ with this idea. It was a franchise that generated $873 million worldwide. The most successful film in the franchise is generally considered to be Saw II (on domestic box-office), but according to worldwide box-office, it seems Saw III takes the crown. And believe me, I was there. I watched every film on the opening weekend. But I have no time for Hostel since you asked.
It became an annual ritual, whereby every Halloween would only be complete with a viewing of the latest Saw film at the cinema. Now I have been converted to a new franchise – as I watch Paranormal Activity every year.
But an eighth film (twist the 8 round to make an infinity symbol because it goes on-and-on…)? Or a reboot? It really is too soon for a reboot, isn’t it? A remake of the first film too would… end with the same twist, yes? So a huge amount of that film is completely lost to the primary audience: fans of the franchise. It seems a semi-sequel / semi-reboot is what I would expect.
Unfortunately, I don’t think the scope is there. The strengths of the franchise lay in (1) the iconic casting of Tobin Bell as the infamous ‘Jigsaw’ serial killer, (2) the twist-ending that generally (Saw V wasn’t really a ‘twist’ ending…) satisfied and (3) the intertwining, ever-expanding urban-world the film set up. Alongside ‘Jigsaw’, we knew about Amanda (Shawnee Smith), Hoffman (Costas Mandylor), Adam (Leigh Whannell), Dr Gordon (Cary Elwes) and – of course – Eric Matthews (Donnie Wahlberg). If the producers could ensure these three things tie together and – almost – pick up where the last film left off, then we may have an open shot. But I doubt the motivation is there to pick up where they left off.
Another huge strength, in terms of marketing and publicity, was the annual release. Haven’t we forgotton about the series? I don’t feel like we are desperate for another film either. I can imagine if some half-hearted attempt to string a couple of threads that were left dangling from the series were worked into a new script, I would still not be satisfied. Times have changed and the horror which we saw in the franchise, at first, was new and fresh. Now it is old hat. Only the die-hard fans (me) will be at the cinema opening weekend.
But I doubt many others will be. I was also at the cinema opening weekend for Scream 4. But that got a ‘disappointing’ box-office, earning the second-lowest opening for the Scream franchise. It seems that times may move fast enough to warrant reboots and remakes … but time also moves fast to secure audiences expectations. We know what we want – and I doubt that’s another Saw film.