‘Saw III’ Confirmed, Promises Fresh Blood By Halloween

Twisted Pictures team reuniting for third installment in gory franchise.

Oh yes, there will be blood … all over again.

Confirming a Hollywood no-brainer, Lions Gate has announced plans to begin shooting “Saw III,” the next installment in a horror series as shocking for its gore as it is for its repeated box-office dominance. In a move reminiscent of the process that resulted in the recent blockbuster “Saw II,” the studio is promising a speedy shoot that will have the film in theaters by Halloween.

“We have been discussing story lines that extend the ’Saw’ franchise to new limits and beyond,” series producers Mark Burg and Oren Koules said in a statement released Thursday (March 2). “The most important element of any franchise is remaining true to the roots of its success. We believe that we are developing a script that is certain to please the ’Saw’ franchise’s core fans while adding fresh, terrifying and unimaginable new twists to the ’Saw’ saga.”

Staying true to the top-secret plot points that have marked the first two films, the producers neglected to provide any further details, promising only that the serial sicko from the movies will enjoy carrying out their new ideas. “Jigsaw himself would be proud,” Burg and Koules insisted.

For those unfamiliar with the puzzling crimes of the Jigsaw Killer (as portrayed by veteran character actor Tobin Bell), the controversial “Saw” series began with the dimly lit 2004 film that cost just a million dollars to make and ended up grossing more than 50 times that amount. Centering on a killer whose dwindling, cancer-condemned days are spent teaching lessons to others about the sanctity of life, the series’ labyrinthine plots involve elaborate setups that cause Jigsaw’s victims to kill themselves.

Get your stomach turning with this six-minute clip of “Saw II,” on Overdrive.

This past October’s “Saw II,” which had the demented doll aficionado tormenting a police detective (Donnie Wahlberg) and a house full of doomed victims, earned $31.7 million over the Halloween weekend on its way to a worldwide box-office total of nearly $150 million (see ” ’Saw II’ Beats ’The Legend Of Zorro’ In Battle Of Sequels” ). (Overall, the “Saw” franchise has grossed more than $250 million and sold nearly 10 million DVDs.)

“The ’Saw’ franchise will ensure that gore becomes every bit as much a Halloween staple as ghosts, goblins and candy corn,” Lions Gate executives Peter Block and Jason Constantine said.

As with “Saw II,” the third film will be directed by Darren Lynn Bousman, with the screenplay co-written by Leigh Whannell. Whannell and “Saw” co-conspirator James Wan will receive story credit and executive produce.

” ’Saw III’ will involve the same creative forces responsible for the tremendous success of ’Saw II,’ ” Block and Constantine continued. “The Twisted [Pictures] team … [has] agreed to be prominently involved in ’Saw III.’ We are proud to be partnered with some of the most disturbing creative talents on the planet.”

For the franchise’s fiercely loyal fans, the future of the “Saw” franchise suffered a major blow when Twisted Pictures principal and “Saw” producer Greg Hoffman died at age 42 barely a month after the second film landed in theaters. According to Block, “Saw III” will be dedicated to Hoffman’s memory.

Check out everything we’ve got on “Saw II.”

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