It’s a move that ratchets up the rivalry between Paramount and Lionsgate for Halloween 2010 dominance. Saw franchise partners Twisted Pictures and Lionsgate have just exercised a contractual option and installed Saw VI director Kevin Greutert as director of Saw 3D, the seventh volume of the fright series. He was hired just 2 weeks before shooting will begin, which doesn’t leave a lot of prep time. But the goal was to block Paramount, which had hired Greutert to direct Paranormal Activity 2. Because both films are now set for release on October 22nd, and the move came after Paramount set that date. Meanwhile Twisted Pictures, which has held an option on the director from back when he helmed Saw VI, bumped previously announced Saw 3D director David Hackl, who directed Saw V and who will be assigned another film quickly, sources tell me. Both directors have been involved in the Saw films from the beginning. The rivalry between the films began last fall, when Paramount’s sleeper hit Paranormal Activity bloodied Twisted/Lionsgate’s Saw VI at the box office en route to a $150 million worldwide gross on a $15,000 budget. It will be interesting to see how Paramount responds. But I like this battling a lot.