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Was Jigsaw originally supposed to be in Spiral?

Tobin Bell’s “Saw” villain doesn’t appear in new standalone “Spiral” – and quite frankly, there’s no real need for him to have done so.


Now that most have seen “Spiral”, it’s safe to talk openly about it.. right?

If you haven’t seen it, likely waiting for the digital release do you don’t risk being sneezed at in public (and rightfully so), come back to this article later on.

OK, right to go?

Tobin Bell’s “Saw” villain doesn’t appear in new standalone “Spiral” – and quite frankly, there’s no real need for him to have done so.

Still, that doesn’t mean co-writer Josh Stolberg didn’t consider having Jigsaw make an appearance or connection this film’s villain to that film’s villain.

Speaking to Bloody Disgusting, Stolberg explains that he and writing partner Pete Goldfinger did toy with different ideas that might have seen Bell’s bad guy make a reappearance.

”When you start a script, EVERYTHING is on the table. EVERYTHING is possible. The truth is that we didn’t know that Tobin (John Kramer) wasn’t going to be in the film until… well, until the last day of filming. And even after that, we were talking about it. John Kramer was always in the discussion, all the way through editing. Hell, I think we even had discussions about him after the first test screening. But… at the end of the day, we decided that we were making a film that was NOT about John Kramer, and that by adding him into the film, it would only complicate things. This killer is NOT John Kramer. And if we tied him too directly to John, it would take away from HIS thing. AND John’s.

“Look, I’m the first person to say that there is NO REPLACING Tobin Bell. That fucking guy is a legend. He’s incredible. The way he plays that part, and the way it’s been written for two decades… it’s incredible. And once we put him in the film, it would alter the DNA of what we were trying to achieve. This is a different story. It doesn’t take away from the Saw franchise. It doesn’t diminish who John Kramer is. It’s a new direction. But it’s not meant to replace him.”

How would Jigsaw have even factored into the film?

“Was it discussed? Yes! AD NAUSEAM. We were ALWAYS talking about it. Because why the hell wouldn’t we be? John Kramer is one of the best characters ever written in the horror genre. Tobin Bell is one of the best actors, in one of the most incredible roles, ever written in a horror. OF COURSE we talked about it. I had dreams about it. What WERE those scenes?

“Well… if you look at the timeline of Kramer’s death, we knew that IF they had a connection (John and William), it would have HAD to have been when William was a child because of the dates of Kramer’s death and the age of Max’s character. At one point, we proposed an after-credits sequence where John meets Young William after the boy’s father is killed. And in that scene, John bonds with William… a moment occurs between them that means something emotionally to both of them… we even discussed that John might give William a doll (Billy… Mr. Snuggles…). BUT I WANT TO MAKE IT CLEAR! THIS IS NOT CANON… IT WAS NEVER WRITTEN AND IT COULD CHANGE IN THE FUTURE. (SIDE-NOTE: This is ALL ME, not the studio, not the producers, not any of the directors… NOBODY BUT ME… and this isn’t real or a scoop or leak because it’s just some excited screenwriter talking… but HOLY FUCK how cool would it be to bring ALL these stories together?!?!? And believe me, I’ve thought about it. All the intricate relationships in the first seven movies, Logan and Eleanor from Jigsaw, Zeke and Marcus and William from Spiral… if Mark and Oren called me tomorrow for Pete and me to write a “Saw Universe” script… I’d spend the next year of my life locked in a room with Pete trying to break that story!).

“But YES, to answer your question, Jigsaw… John Kramer… was ALWAYS part of the discussion all the way through post-production. Darren had an interesting idea (even AFTER we decided that we were NOT filming that post-credits scene with Tobin) — he suggested that we might use one of Tobin’s songs for the final credits of the film. Tobin is an amazing singer, and he recorded this incredible version of a Johnny Cash song that Darren pitched using for the end credits. He tried it. It was a way to get “John in the movie… without him being in the movie.” But it just felt a little gimmicky at the end of the day. Especially since we went in a slightly different direction with the needle drops in the movie, with the cool 21 Savage songs. So, yes, those are a few of the ideas that were floated… but again, like a sculptor chipping away at the rock, all those ideas found their way to the cutting room floor. They just… didn’t feel right.”

For more from Stolberg on “Spiral”, check out the article.

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