In a much-anticipated return to the big screen, Saw X has just hit theaters, and it’s generating a buzz of excitement among fans and critics alike. The tenth installment of the iconic franchise takes viewers on a harrowing journey, picking up shortly after James Wan’s original Saw, with the spotlight firmly on John Kramer, portrayed by Tobin Bell.
This time, John finds himself on a desperate quest for a life-saving medical procedure in Mexico as he battles cancer. However, when he discovers that the facility is operated by unscrupulous individuals preying on the vulnerable, he unleashes his Jigsaw persona to exact a chilling revenge.
Directed by Kevin Greutert, known for his work on Saw 6 and Saw 3D, Saw X also marks the return of Shawnee Smith as Amanda, a survivor of Jigsaw’s gruesome traps who became John’s protege. Additionally, the film promises some surprise appearances from characters that fans may have forgotten.
We had the opportunity to sit down with producers Mark Burg and Oren Koules to discuss the intricate details of Saw X, including its origins, the return of beloved characters, and the evolution of the franchise.
The Long-Awaited Return: GamesRadar+ asked why now is the perfect time to unveil this chapter of John’s story, seven years in the making.
Mark Burg: Our journey with this installment began in late 2017 when we started working on the script. At that time, we were planning to move forward with it. However, the unexpected opportunity arose when Chris Rock expressed his love for Saw and his desire to create a Saw movie.
So, we embarked on developing a story with him, which eventually became Spiral. This project took precedence, and our original concept was temporarily shelved.
After conducting an extensive brand study in collaboration with Lionsgate, it became clear that audiences had a deep affection for Tobin Bell’s character, John Kramer, and Shawnee Smith’s presence in the franchise. They wanted to see Tobin Bell not just in flashbacks but in the present storyline.
Thus, we decided to create a film set before Tobin’s character’s death in Saw III. In our Saw universe, the events of Saw X occur shortly after the conclusion of Saw I, approximately three to four weeks later. We collaborated closely with Kevin Greutert, who has been involved in editing or directing every Saw movie, ensuring that the film captured the essence of John Kramer as a character.
Oren Koules: This is a deeply personal story. The initial part of the film focuses on John Kramer as a human being grappling with terminal cancer. His journey begins with the quest for an extension of his life.
A Return to Basics: The interview then touched on the traps in the film, which have been simplified and seem more relatable compared to some of the elaborate traps in previous Saw movies.
Mark Burg: We felt that in previous Saw films, the traps had become overly complex and extravagant. In Saw X, John Kramer adopts a more straightforward approach, reminiscent of crafting traps from readily available materials. We believe that this film is the best installment in the Saw series to date.
Oren Koules: The movie is both the longest and most deliberate in the franchise. It strikes a balance between delivering the expected elements and injecting a considerable amount of heart into the storyline.
A New Perspective on John Kramer: GamesRadar+ inquired whether this film would portray John Kramer as more of an anti-hero, given his layered character.
Oren Koules: A majority of those who have seen the film so far consider John Kramer the protagonist.
Mark Burg: Viewers will develop significant sympathy for John and will find themselves rooting for him within the first few minutes of the film.
Oren Koules: During a panel at Comic-Con for Saw 2 or 3, several audience members insisted that John was the hero or protagonist, which was a surprising but memorable reaction.
Amanda’s Significance: The interview explored Amanda’s role in the film and how it ties into Saw 3.
Oren Koules: The transition from Saw I to Saw X is seamless. The events of Saw X take place about three weeks after Saw I, where John Kramer resumes his life as John Kramer. He encounters unexpected challenges, leading him to reach out to Amanda, his newest disciple, and someone he previously saved. The narrative aligns perfectly with the events of Saw 2, making it a cohesive addition to the series.
Mark Burg: In this film, some surprise characters from previous movies make a return. If Saw X resonates with audiences, there is potential for more characters from the franchise to reappear in future installments.
What Lies Ahead: The conversation wrapped up with the question of whether there is more of John Kramer’s story to explore.
Mark Burg: By the end of Saw X, this question will be definitively addressed. Audiences will be left wanting to know what comes next for John Kramer.
Saw X is now showing in theaters, promising a thrilling and intimate exploration of John Kramer’s character and story.
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