Since the first installment’s surprise hit at the box office in 2004, there has been a new Saw film in theaters every Halloween. While the release of Saw 6 is still over a week away (opening in theaters on October 23rd), producer Mark Burg and co-writer Marcus Dunstan are already well underway with Saw 7, which they will be debuting in 3-D.
During the film’s press day, held at Universal Studios, which is currently hosting the Saw maze as part of their Halloween Horror Nights festivities (running through October 31st), Mark Burg revealed that they have the storyline figured out through Saw 8, but then the franchise’s future beyond that is undetermined. Read more after the jump:
Question: As the Saw series goes on, do you want to get further out of those rooms with the traps and explore the broader implications of the character?
Dunstan: We are, already well underway into Saw 7. Often, with these movies, the marketing for the present movie leads to what the sequel after that is, in a lot of aspects. I think we’re doing that now. These movies are very serialized, which helps make it different from a lot of the horror franchises, where it’s just a one-off and it’s like, “Okay, now we’re back in the haunted house again. How are these people going to get out?” This is much more serialized, with these questions that continue on.
So, at the end of Saw 6, you get a real clear understanding of what John Kramer’s (Tobin Bell) overall plan was and, in turn, what Hoffman’s (Costas Mandylor) plan was ’cause they, of course, differ. Hoffman is someone that we introduced in Saw 5, with a very different philosophy from Kramer. So, slowly throughout Saw 6, we are pulling out of those rooms a little bit more, and we’re definitely seeing the social implications of this iconic killer. That would be a big, huge deal, if that was happening in real life, and we try to keep these films as realistic as possible, so you definitely see that in Saw 6 quite a bit.
I think that’s just how the series has evolved. It started in a tiny little room, and we just heard about this guy. And, by Saw 6, we will see the implication that it has on the people around it, and it is leading towards how this would affect other people, who aren’t necessarily in the traps, or who aren’t necessarily morally corrupted. I think that’s where it will naturally lead.
Is the budget still staying at about $10 million?
Burg: Yeah. The first film was $1 million. The second film was $4 million and change. Since then, depending on the dollar fluctuation, they’ve all cost between $10 million and $11 million.
Any plans to go 3-D, in the future?
Burg: For Saw 7. It’s 3-D. Absolutely.
Will that still stay within the same budget?
Burg: No. 3-D costs more money. It’s a longer prep, a longer shoot, a longer post, more expensive cameras. It costs more to shoot and it costs more to market ’cause you have to buy the glasses. It’s an extra $2 million in marketing, just because you have to buy the glasses. But, it’s worth it. I think Saw itself, just the way the films are shot, lends itself to being a 3-D movie.
We saw a test that somebody did, that was a minute of Saw, that they just transferred from 2-D to 3-D, and it looked great. So, we were like, “All right, screw it. Let’s do it!” But, we’re not going to transfer it. We’re actually shooting it in 3-D. A lot of people just do the 2-D to 3-D transfer, but we want to be able to build the sets in a way that takes advantage of depth. We’re going to design traps to come at you. The pendulum trap that opened the last Saw movie would have been great in 3-D.
Have you determined what way the 3-D will be used? Will it be more about the depth of the film, or will you use it similarly to My Bloody Valentine 3-D?
Burg: We’re planning a lot of the movie to be through the victim’s eyes, seeing stuff as it’s coming towards them, in their point-of-view. But, I think the audience wants a couple My Bloody Valentine type moments, where the gun comes into the audience.
Now that Saw 4 and 5 really cemented the idea that this is a series that is going to thrive, live and drive forward off of the flashbacks and the inter-connectivity of everything, how far in advance do you get to plan?
Dunstan: When (co-writer) Patrick [Melton] and I had an opportunity to work in this series, (producers) Mark [Burg], Oren [Koules], Jason Constantine and Peter Block had an end-game in mind and that is there. Piece by piece, if we’re so fortunate as to continue telling the story, there is a way to get there.
Burg: We’re definitely making Saw 7. We’re starting in January, and it’s going to be in 3-D. The storyline that we started in Saw 5 and carry through Saw 6, ends at Saw 8. Where it goes beyond that, I couldn’t tell you. In my mind and in Oren’s mind, we have the story threaded through Saw 8. After that, I can’t tell you that the franchise will continue.
Dunstan: That helps when writing, though. Even if it’s a small detail, you know that this element has to happen in Saw 7 and this has to happen in Saw 8, so that we know we’re getting up to that point. But, that isn’t to say that there isn’t definitely a clear resolution at the end of each story because there is, especially with Saw 6. Once you see Saw 6, you’ll understand how it’s supposed to end, and then, oops, something else happens and that will lead somewhere.
Burg: Saw 6 has a great twist. You’re going to look at the film and be like, “Fuck, they got me again! How did I not see this coming?”