the Jigsaw puppet

It's a great time to be a horror fan. After a few years of repetitive and predictable sequels, a few choice directors have created a renaissance for the genre, with original and thrilling films like The Purge, The Conjuring, and Get Out capturing audiences' attention. And with horror becoming an increasingly lucrative force in the film world, many of the classic franchises will be returning to cash in on the trend. Case in point: the Saw franchise will soon be back in theaters, and the upcoming installment has a title that will probably make fans of the property shake their heads. The next movie will be titled Jigsaw, after the villain of the same name. Except one thing: he's been dead since the third film.

This news come to us from the Saw franchise's official Twitter, which announced the change in title today. While the next sequel was previously referred to as Saw: Legacy, the upcoming movie has been changed to Jigsaw. But the hardcore fandom saw John Kramer/Jigsaw die back in Saw 3, with new footage of the villain being used in the next four movies through flashbacks. So how exactly will he fit into the movie, and why would they name the sequel after the long dead character?

I'm not sure that bringing back John Kramer in an expanded role is the right choice for the Saw franchise. This type of move puts the franchise in a vein similar to the great horror franchises like Friday the 13th and A Nightmare On Elm Street, which finds the central villain mysteriously coming back to life for film after film. And while that might work for the more iconic villains like Freddy and Jason, it doesn't make much sense for an old, frail, and definitely dead villain like Jigsaw.

Despite being long dead, actor Tobin Bell has managed to appear in every Saw movie to date. And as Jigsaw was being filmed (and still titled Saw: Legacy), Bell teased his return by showing the jigsaw puppet on set. Check it out.

Creepy, right? While not a still of Tobin Bell at work, this image helped to keep hope alive for the next sequel, and teased that the next "game" may be happening in a theme park. As if Final Destination 3 didn't already ruin rollercoasters for us all.

Personally, I'd rather Jigsaw not make a physical appearance in the film named after him, but that seems unlikely at this point. The idea of John's protegees continuing his work was a logical way for the series to continue, but physically reintroducing John after all these years seems a bit ridiculous. Plus, it looks like Jigsaw won't include Cary Elwes' Dr. Lawrence Gordon, which is a big letdown after his appearance in Saw: 3D.

Jigsaw is set to arrive in theaters on October 27th, 2017. In the meantime, check our full 2017 release list to plan your next trip to the movies.

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