Luke Y Thompson is covering the Con for Deadline:
Lionsgate had their SAW VII event off-site –a cocktail party where drinks were named after the killer Jigsaw and the returning Dr. Gordon (Cary Elwes), and then footage in 3D was screened across the street. Producers Mark Burg and Oren Koules are introduced, alongside director Kevin Greutert and star Tobin Bell. They announce that this will be the final film in the series. (Really? Because I thought Part 3 was supposed to be. Guess that means if this does well, the next one will be a reboot/remake). And here’s the Editor In Chief of the Guinness Book of Records, back again, to present SAW with a plaque for “most successful horror franchise of all time”. He notes that SAW III holds the record for highest grossing Halloween-timed movie also.
Greutert says he was assistant editor on GEORGE OF THE JUNGLE 2 before he came aboard the SAW franchise as editor. If there’s any resentment that Lionsgate contractually pulled him from PARANORMAL ACTIVITY 2 to do this, it ain’t showing. He seems happy.
Tobin says he was attracted to the first movie because when he read the script, the ending surprised him. “And if I didn’t anticipate it, then if it’s shot well, it will be a great moment.” He also liked the idea that the first one was a three-character play: “Even if the guy on the floor didn’t have any lines, he was important.”
Mark says all he wanted to do was make their money back, but that Tobin’s interest impressed him. “If Tobin Bell’s willing to lie on the floor in cold, sticky blood for 8 days, maybe there’s something in this.”
SAW is the first horror movie franchise, apparently, to have a roller coaster based on it, in London.
All say that the consistency of crew members throughout the series has been a strength.
There are 11 traps in it, the most of any SAW movie. Sean Patrick Flanery plays the main victim, gets put through the wringer more than any previous lead.
Greutert had thought about making Part 6 in 3D, but the technology wasn’t there yet. This one was conceived and shot in 3D, and the cameras were lightweight enough that it was easy to shoot like the others. Eexcept that initially, only one camera was available, as the second was still being built, in Germany.
Bell tells his favorite fan interaction story (I’ve heard this one before) about skateboarding kids who told him they like the series because “They’re so real, and so crazy, and they teach you stuff.” He’s always amazed that fans seem to remember the philosophical dilemmas of the films more than the gore. Then he mentions a time he was in Toronto, and went out at midnight in a hoodie looking for a salad, and when the waitress saw him, she fled to the other end of the bar.
About SAW II, Tobin says “Donnie [Wahlberg] was intractable about what he would say and wouldn’t say.” They got in a rehearsal room to hash it out, and most of that ended up in the movie. Oren says that when they were making SAW II, “we knew when we wanted to end.” I don’t buy this. Mark says, “We kinda knew two [movies] ago that this was going to be the end.” THAT I believe.
Leigh Whannell had said at a previous Comic-Con that he thought Dr. Gordon was dead. Tobin: “That’s what’s nice about fictional characters. We can change their lives.” Asked if he’ll miss playing the character, Tobin says that, like a painter, he’ll go on to paint another painting.
And now, footage – we’re going to see the opening trap.
The Lionsgate logo, with all those grinding gears, looks great in 3D.
We begin on the blood trail of Dr. Gordon, dragging himself down the hallway, just after cutting off his own foot in part one. He spots a hot, steaming pipe, and presses his bloody leg stump against it to cauterize the wound. Cut to a street scene, where a crowd is gathering around a department store window display. In the window, two men are strapped to a work-table, with buzz-saws in front of them. They’re shackled to each. As the guys wake up, they recognize each other, and demand to know what the other is doing here. Their names are Brad and Ryan.
A black cloth falls, and we see a woman in chains on the ceiling. One of the guys begs for the glass to be broken, or police to be called. A woman outside tries to smash the glass with her briefcase, but it doesn’t break. Meanwhile, the familiar puppet on a tricycle moves into the room, and Tobin Bell’s voice announces that both men have broken the law to please the same girl. Now, one of the three will die. The device is more clearly seen: either man can push the buzzsaw platform into the other guy, or they can both push them to the center, and the woman, who is being lowered, will be the one to die. They have 60 seconds.
The girl tells Brad she loves him, and he tries to push the blade into Ryan, but doesn’t cut deep enough. Then she tells Ryan she loves him, and was lying to Brad just then. Ryan goes, “You’re a cheat and a liar. Fuck you!” The men cooperate, and the girl gets cut in half.