While it seemed like the Saw franchise might continue veering into new and different directions following the release of 2021’s Spiral, any such expectations were flipped on their heads with the upcoming arrival of Saw X. The latest project from returning director Kevin Greutert will feature the longtime star Tobin Bell reprising the role of John “Jigsaw” Kramer, this time for a story that’s outwardly being promoted as a prequel narrative set between the timelines of the first two films. And we now have our best idea yet of what to expect, thanks to the release of Saw X’s first trailer.
After watching the preview for the upcoming horror movie, which is now set to release in September after it was shifted forward from its Halloween week premiere, I have some questions about how the story will shake out for Jigsaw, his victims, and the apprentice(s) we’ll see. Check out the trailer again, or for the first time, and join me in pondering a few things below.
How Much Will We See Of Shawnee Smith’s Amanda?
Saw X’s first trailer confirmed beyond the mask of a pig, er, beyond the shadow of a doubt that Shawnee Smith’s Amanda Young is back in action as one of Jigsaw’s most doting apprentices. But since she only shows up for the briefest of seconds in the promo, one has to wonder how much we’ll see of her in the prequel. Considering Amanda’s involvement isn’t being set up as a surprise third-act reveal, that could mean she’ll pop up early on and will work closely with John. Perhaps fans will see more of what caused Amanda to start shifting away from her mentor’s teachings to aim for more intentionally violent traps and schemes.
What Other Saw Characters Will Return?
With Saw X taking place early on in this franchise’s timeline, the chances are high for other longtime characters to pop up in some capacity. With Amanda already checked off, the next most likely return we’ll see would be from Cary Elwes’ Dr. Lawrence Gordon, the focus of the first film whose return in Saw 3D confirmed he’d been working with John since being nursed back to health. (He might not even be back to feeling healthy, depending on how far after the first film’s events this takes place.)
Other than Lawrence, the sequel could also feature Matt Passmore’s Dr. Logan Nelson, the physician who accidentally sealed John’s cancer-ridden fate with an X-ray mix-up. His existence was only revealed in Jigsaw, so this could allow for the franchise to play up how involved he was with Jigsaw’s trap construction and setting up the victims. Obviously there are plenty of other surprise characters who could show up, but the trailer does also seem to feature dialogue delivered by Costas Mandylor’s Detective Mark Hoffman, whose five-film stretch went from Saw III through Saw 3D. So will he be back as well?
How Will Saw X Reference The First Two Films?
One of the weird joys of the Saw franchise is seeing all the wacky connections the screenwriters make with each successive film. With this being a prequel, it’d take a lot of work to make a Spiral reference work, but fans can no doubt expect plenty of direct connections to James Wan’s initial entry and its Darren Lynn Bousman-helmed sequel. Hopefully there will be something fresh involved, since we’ve seen quite a bit from that early era already. I’d put money on the upcoming tenth film ending with someone from Team Jigsaw setting up the peephole-gun trap that kills Tony Nappo’s Gus in the second film.
How Will Saw X Add Fresh Context To John Kramer’s Legacy?
Is it just me, or is it bizarre for a film franchise to devote this many movies to justifying a monster’s sadistic crimes while at the same time showing off more of his monstrous actions. Saw X is being touted as a personal tale for Jigsaw, and will take place at a Mexican medical facility where he went for an experimental procedure to cure his cancer, only to realize it was all a scam. So viewers already know going in why and how John was screwed over, and why and how he’s going about avenging such wrongdoing.
And so, coupled with the fact that this trailer seems to show off a lot of what we can expect to see regarding the medical staff, I’m confused about how this prequel will add anything necessary to Jigsaw’s lore. Unless, of course, the plot synopsis is only offering up part of what fans will see in the finalized film, with the story going in different and unknown directions later in its runtime. There will obviously be a big twist, as is the norm, but wouldn’t it be cool if the twist was that the trailer only showed off what happens in the first 10 minutes of the movie?
Has John Kramer Ever Has A Positive Experience With Medical Professionals?
To piggyback off of the previous entry, maybe Saw X‘s endgame twist is that everything we know about John’s life has been a lie, and the reality is that all of the doctors, nurses, and medical examiners he’s ever dealt with were completely honest professionals who never mishandled anything, and delivered the best service and advice possible. It’s just been the Jigsaw part of John’s brain making him think that all of these people are responsible for his trunctated lifespan.
But since that’s probably not going to happen, I do have to wonder if there’s an idea for a scene out in the ethers in which John has a rash, goes to a clinic for the rash, and gets some medicated cream that clears it up immediately. It’s not a good scene, I’l agree, but this franchise has been shockingly fixated on making sure roughly half of Jigsaw’s targets come from the medical world. He could have feasibly just made that his whole gimmick. If only Leigh Whannell had just made the educated guess in 2004 that the first film would lead to a follow-up 19 years later that would directly follow those initial events, while also incorporating all of the details from the other 8 films that hadn’t come out yet.
Most of the above questions will be answered when Saw X hits theaters on Friday, September 29, 2023. While waiting, check out where to stream the first nine Saw films, including Jigsaw and Spiral.