Have You Heard about the ‘Saw VII’ vs. ‘Paranormal Activity 2’ Mess?

Okay, first for a little bit of a recap since I have pretty much abandoned the idea of regurgitating casting information on this site since you can get that on any number of movie related blogs. On January 18, The Hollywood Reporter made it known Saw VI helmer Kevin Greutert was hired to direct Paranormal Activity 2 for Paramount Pictures. Nothing major there until you learn Paramount also decided to not only poach a Saw franchise director, but also went for the jugular announcing the film for an October 22 release date, the same date Lionsgate had already established for Saw VII – 3D. A bit ballsy eh, but it at least makes more sense than the Weinstein’s decision to release Halloween II in August last year. So Paramount posed the challenge… but what would come of it wasn’t known.

Would Lionsgate buckle and move Saw VII or stand their ground and fight for pre-Halloween weekend #1? Well, we’ve got our answer, and it’s a little bit of the above and then some. On top of that it’s an answer I wasn’t ready to believe until now.

On Monday a story over at Deadline.com reported Twisted Pictures and Lionsgate exercised a contractual option and are now forcing Greutert to direct Saw VII. To cap it off, the decision was made with just two weeks before shooting will begin in Canada, giving Greutert minimal time to prep.

Making it even worse, Greutert had already been bumped by Lionsgate, as the keys to the seventh film and the franchise’s first foray into 3D were handed to Saw V director David Hackl, which is the reason Greutert was free to tackle Paranormal Activity 2. Now, with Greutert replacing Hackl, Deadline’s Mike Fleming reports the studio will be assigning Hackl another film quickly. Classy right?

How does Greutert feel about this? Well, first know he has been involved with the Saw franchise since the beginning having served as editor on all of the films except for VI, which he directed. So to say he’s had his hand in the torture genre for a long time is an understatement.

On his official website he has posted two messages, the first comes to us via Bloody-Disgusting as it has since been removed. It read as such:

I’m in the middle of something really terrible right now, as anyone who has come to this site probably knows. While I fight for justice in this, the important thing is to avoid giving in to hatred and anger, because these emotions are life killers.

Hopefully we will all arrive at an amicable solution. Thank you to everyone who is working with me on this.


With that message now gone the following, and even more terse post has taken its place:

I just had the task of telling my 83 year old mother that no, I’m not going to be allowed to direct the movie we were all so excited about when my family last got together, and that I’m being forced to leave town before getting a chance to see her again. Yes, I’ll be filming people getting tortured YET AGAIN. So we’ll have to put off me making a film she can actually watch for another year.

I’m not making this shit up.

Fans have been commenting on Greutert’s post, some of which saying they will no longer support a Lionsgate or Twisted Pictures release, which ironically means they also wouldn’t be supporting Greutert as the film he is now directing would be part of said boycott. However, even more importantly, considering this is simply a studio pissing match what does Lionsgate gain by forcing someone to direct a movie? I haven’t watched a Saw film since the third one, but no matter how exhausted a franchise is, directing a film takes dedicated work. I can’t help but feel sorry for Greutert as he is now stuck between a rock and a hard place fighting both professionally and personally. Of course, there is also Hackl to think of who was pushed out of a directing gig due to Lionsgate’s move.

Another question is what does this now mean for Paranormal Activity 2? Is Greutert signed on as director and no other director can take his place? His message seems to insinuate he is still directing the film, but won’t be filming it on the schedule that was originally set. Does this mean it is no longer set for an October 22 release? I am sure that part of the equation will be figured out soon enough.

Any thoughts out there? Fan of the Saw franchise or not these kind of games cannot be looked upon kindly can they?


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