Saw X Director: Don't Expect Anyone to Ever Play Jigsaw but Tobin Bell

Will the Saw franchise ever replace Tobin Bell as Jigsaw?

The upcoming Saw X is the tenth film in the horror-torture franchise, and for many movies that's right around the time that the powers that be decide to just start over. Halloween and Friday the 13th have done it, and Texas Chainsaw Massacre has tried it at least three times, but Saw remains in the same continuity even if things move around the timeline. That doesn't mean in the future that Saw won't eventually reboot however, and when it does, will the role of Jigsaw actually go to someone else or is Tobin Bell too big of a figure?

Speaking in an interview with ComicBook.com for the upcoming film, we asked Saw X director Kevin Greutert about the possibility of Bell being replaced at some point in the future, and he thinks it would be a tall order. "It seems unlikely," Greutert revealed. The filmmaker, who has directed three of the Saw movies and edited six of them (including Saw X), then went on to make a comparison that should have fans excited at the prospect, comparing Tobin Bell's role as Jigsaw to another iconic horror character "You know, Mads Mikkelsen took over from Anthony Hopkins (in the role of Hannibal Lecter) and, you know, we'd need somebody on that level."

On the other hand however, Tobin Bell himself fully supports the idea of someone else taking over the role of Jigsaw in the future. Speaking with ComicBook.com in a previous interview, we asked Bell a similar question, and he replied: "John Kramer is a King Lear-like character. He's huge, his world is very large. If the writing is amazing, he's a character that any actor would be thrilled to have an opportunity to occupy."  

Is Saw 10 a prequel?

Though the franchise is quick to note that it's the tenth movie in the series, Saw X is not set after every other sequel, and especially not 2017's Jigsaw or 2021's Spiral: From the Book of Saw. In fact, the events of the upcoming Saw X are actually set just weeks after the events of the first Saw movie, and well before what happens in Saw II. So yes, in a way, Saw X is a prequel, taking place before the events of almost every movie in the series except for the first one.

As fans recall, Saw III was the sequel where Tobin Bell's Jigsaw actually died on screen. Thanks to clever mechanics and flashbacks throughout the remaining movies however, Bell would return as John Kramer for Saw IV, Saw V, Saw VI, Saw 3D, and Jigsaw. 2021's Spiral: From the Book of Saw only included a photo of Tobin Bell, confirming its placement in the larger franchise, but not featuring his character in a major way.

In addition to Bell reprising his role for Saw X, confirmed cast members that will appear in the movie include Synnøve Macody Lund (Ragnarok), Steven Brand (The Sandman), Michael Beach (S.W.A.T.), Renata Vaca, Paulette Hernande, Joshua Okamoto, and Octavio Hinojosa. Shawnee Smith will also reprise her role of Amanda Young, Jigsaw's apprentice, having appeared in the first three Saw movies alongside Bell. 

Lionsgate describes Saw X as follows: "John Kramer (Tobin Bell) is back. The most disturbing installment of the Saw franchise yet explores the untold chapter of Jigsaw's most personal game. Set between the events of Saw I and II, a sick and desperate John travels to Mexico for a risky and experimental medical procedure in hopes of a miracle cure for his cancer – only to discover the entire operation is a scam to defraud the most vulnerable. Armed with a newfound purpose, the infamous serial killer returns to his work, turning the tables on the con artists in his signature visceral way through devious, deranged, and ingenious traps."

The upcoming Saw X is scheduled for release on September 29, 2023.