Lionsgate and Twisted Pictures announced today that Darren Lynn Bousman (Saw II and Saw III) is back to helm the next installment of the “Saw” franchise, the most successful horror series in history. The announcement was made jointly by Lionsgate’s President of Acquisitions and Co-Productions Peter Block and Senior Vice President of Acquisitions Jason Constantine, and Twisted Pictures’ Mark Burg and Oren Koules.
Production offices opened February 12th in Toronto to begin pre-production on Saw IV. Twisted Pictures’ Burg and Koules are again producing, and executive producers Daniel Jason Heffner, James Wan, Leigh Whannell, and Stacey Testro also return. Executive producing for Lionsgate are Block and Constantine. Key contributors of the first three films returning include editor Kevin Greutert, director of photography David Armstrong and production designer David Hackl. Saw IV is slated to begin shooting April 16 for six weeks and will be released domestically and internationally October 26, 2007.
Said Block, “Having Darren behind the camera gives ‘Saw IV’ a real edge, so to speak. He has led this franchise into box office history while proving himself a modern master of psychological terror.”
Burg and Koules of Twisted Pictures remarked, “It’s great to have the ‘Saw’ creative team back together for ‘Saw IV.’ We’re looking forward to working with Darren, Lionsgate and all the Twisted minds to bring horror fans more of Jigsaw’s gore and games.”
Added Bousman, “It’s not often that a filmmaker is given the opportunity to follow a genuinely compelling character through two films, much less three. So I’m very excited about picking up the reins on ‘Saw IV,’ and delving even deeper into the Jigsaw legend.”
With a worldwide box office of over $400 million, the “Saw” series is the most successful horror franchise of all time. Saw III opened at #1 domestically on October 27, 2006, and opened at #1 in eleven additional countries, including the U.K. and Australia; it was the year’s top-grossing horror film, taking in over $80 million domestically and over $100 internationally. The DVD, released on January 23, 2007, repeated the success of its two predecessors as it debuted as the week’s #1 new home entertainment release.
Following Saw IV, Lionsgate, Twisted Pictures and Bousman will reunite for Repo! The Genetic Opera, a horror opera which Bousman will direct from an original story by co-composers and screenwriters Terrence Zdunich and Darren Smith. The film is set in a not-too-distant future when a worldwide epidemic of organ failures inspires a biotech company to launch an organ financing program reminiscent of an automobile loan plan — complete with a repossession clause. Bousman, who directed the original stage production of “Repo!,” has been planning a big screen version for several years. Lionsgate signed on to distribute after viewing a 12-minute promo reel that Bousman created in 1 1/2 days, the exact same scenario that brought the company the first “Saw” feature.