The first Saw landed in theaters in 2004 and, for the rest of the decade, the series dominated the world of horror, but co-creator Leigh Whannell left the franchise after Saw III, largely because he couldn't think of creative ways to kill people for subsequent installments. As any devout Saw fan could tell you, there is an overall narrative and mythology that keeps getting built upon with each installment, yet with so much of each film focused on various traps and torture devices that characters are subjected to, it's easy to see how the filmmaker could get burnt out on crafting such methods of death and began developing other cinematic universes.
"One of the reasons I had to step away from the Saw films, I felt, was that I couldn't think up any more ways to creatively kill somebody, or dismember them," Whannell shared with the Reel Blend podcast. "I was like, 'I'm burned out on this.' And they kept going and making those movies, but I just had to step away."
Given that Whannell co-created the series with director James Wan, in addition to starring in the debut installment, the filmmaker has solidified his legacy in the annals of horror, as the series earned eight installments, many of which debuted on an annual basis, in addition to the upcoming reboot Spiral.
Despite the franchise being defined by its gore, the new film stars Chris Rock and Samuel L. Jackson, with Rock himself having crafted the idea for the reinvention of the concept. Rock's comedic career made him seem like an unexpected choice for who to deliver a new film, but Whannell previously admitted that Rock expressed his enthusiasm for the franchise years ago.
"It would have been early 2015 and he said to me 'I'm a big fan of Saw and I've always wanted to write a Saw film,'" Whannell recounted to Cinema Blend. "And I thought he was just doing one of those things you do at parties when you say, 'Hey, big fan of your podcast, I'd love to be a guest,' and then you never follow-up with them. I thought he was just bullsh-tting me. Turns out, Chris Rock wasn't joking. So the first thing I thought of when I heard that Chris was doing this film, I thought of that moment at that party and I thought how if I had known how serious he was I probably would have said to him, 'Well we should spend some time together hanging out and I'll help you write that film,' because I want to hang out with Chris Rock."
Whannell's latest film, The Invisible Man, is in theaters now. Spiral hits theaters on May 15th.
Do you wish Whannell had stayed involved with the franchise longer? Let us know in the comments below or contact Patrick Cavanaugh directly on Twitter to talk all things horror and Star Wars!