Saw X Director Highlights The Importance Of Tobin Bell's Jigsaw In New Sequel

Tobin Bell as Jigsaw in Saw X
(Image credit: Lionsgate)

John Kramer has always been different than most slasher villains. While the majority of the genre's greatest monsters – Freddy Krueger, Michael Myers, Jason Voorhees, etc. – are regularly given the spotlight in their movies, "Jigsaw" has always been more of a backstage player (in fact, he's canonically dead in more sequels than alive given that he kicks the bucket in Saw III). That in mind, the director of the upcoming Saw X is teasing that the film is going to be different than any other in the franchise, particularly because it puts star Tobin Bell front and center.

During a recent interview with Empire, Kevin Greutert spoke directly to that special element of the upcoming horror movie. In fact, he specifically highlights the film's extreme use of Jigsaw in contrast to Spiral: From The Book Of Saw – which is notably the only film in the Saw franchise that doesn't feature Tobin Bell at all. Said the filmmaker (with a bit of sass),

Kramer is the centre of the story... They tried to make the last Saw without Tobin and to me, that was a pretty gutsy move.

Kevin Greutert previously directed both Saw IV and Saw 3D, but the new movie is notably a prequel of sorts that takes place between the events that transpire in Saw and Saw II. Rather than simply torturing people to teach them life lessons, John Kramer in the story is on the hunt for revenge. In an effort to kill the cancer that is quickly killing him, Kramer travels to Mexico to take part in an experimental procedure, but it turns out that the whole operation is a con. Dying but still alive, he makes moves to find the people responsible and have them each play one of his special games.

For a very different kind of Saw movie, a very different approach was taken to Saw X. In the recent interview, Greutert discusses making the film more realistic, smaller, and more emotional:

This one has pulled back to a somewhat more realistic level. Not maybe Saw I-level simplicity, but close. The more that the audience can get the sense that a smart engineer – which he is – could figure out what to do with these parts and make it work, the better... [Saw X] is an emotional journey that you go on with John Kramer, and less a slaughterhouse that you experience from the point of view of the victims.

He adds that he even thinks that Saw X "has a good chance of appealing to people beyond gore freaks.," though he acknowledges that there will be plenty of movie-goers who won't be able to tolerate the on-screen blood and guts.

Though it was originally supposed to be released in late October (a.k.a. right around Halloween), Saw X is now less than one month away from hitting theaters – set to make its debut on big screens around the country on September 29. To learn about all of the freakiest films set to come out during 2023's spooky season, check out our Upcoming Horror Movies guide.

Eric Eisenberg
Assistant Managing Editor

NJ native who calls LA home and lives in a Dreamatorium. A decade-plus CinemaBlend veteran who is endlessly enthusiastic about the career he’s dreamt of since seventh grade.