James Wan Shares Humble Origins Of His ‘Saw’ Horror Franchise

by Thomas Tuna

Inspiration can strike in the strangest places.

The Saw film franchise–started by director James Wan and screenwriter Leigh Whannell back in 2004–has become a fan favorite and box office juggernaut, but–as Wan explains it–the original storyline sprang from a strange seed.

During a recent interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Wan said that he and Whannell “really wanted to cut through the noise of all the indie movies that were coming out in the late ’90s, so we spent a whole year thinking about story ideas.”

As the filmmaker explained it, “One day when I was in the shower, I thought: ‘What about a movie with two people stuck in a bathroom with a really grungy toilet? They have no idea how they got in there, and they’re chained to opposite sides of the room’.”

After Wan worked on “the rough setup,” he said he knew “how I wanted the story to end with Jigsaw–the person who put them in that situation. So, I pitched a really simple script and finale to Leigh and he said, ‘Let me think about it.’ So, he went off and came back to me with Saw.”

The end result of that shower inspiration was the first film in the Saw franchise, starring Cary Elwes, Danny Glover, Monica Potter and Tobin Bell. The film revolves around the Jigsaw Killer, who tests his victims’ will to live by putting through deadly “games” where they must inflict great pain upon themselves in order to survive.

The franchise has earned more than $1 billion so far at the global box office, with Saw X–directed by Kevin Greutert–landing in theaters Oct. 27.

Keep reading Horror News Network for the latest on the Saw franchise.


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