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Not a game: Tobin Bell set to return as Jigsaw in the next ‘Saw’ movie

The horror icon returns as grisly work on the 10th ‘Saw’ flick gets underway.

By Benjamin Bullard
Tobin Bell

Last year’s Spiral marked the first time the tormented Saw movie franchise had ever gone without Tobin Bell, the original actor who’d portrayed the demented Jigsaw Killer mastermind through the series’ first nine films. But fans should be chilled to the bone (in a good way!) to know that appears to have been just a solitary squiggle: Bell is reportedly back on board in his original role as the next Saw movie enters development.

Deadline reports that Bell is rejoining the Saw franchise after sitting out 2021’s Spiral, whose copycat-killer plot veered away from the original Jigsaw in favor of a detective story pairing Chris Rock and Max Minghella (as Detective William Emmerson aka William Schenk, the bad guy hiding in plain sight). The move puts Bell back on board for the upcoming 10th installment in the horror franchise he helped launch, with Lionsgate and Twisted Pictures reportedly set to begin production this month.

As John Kramer, Bell’s iconic Jigsaw killer served as the direct antagonist through the first three Saw movies before being killed off and living on in flashbacks for the succeeding five films. Back before Squid Game brought the idea of twisted rat-in-a-cage psychological (and actual) torture to Netflix, Jigsaw was doing it up close and personal, finding sick fascination as a cancer survivor who watched as his victims made impossible choices through carefully orchestrated and horrific ordeals.

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Genre fans also know bell from The CW’s Arrowverse, where he’s appeared in multiple seasons of The Flash to voice both Alchemy and, beginning in Season 3, Savitar. In the Saw series, Bell’s “performance as John Kramer is part of the magic that made this franchise a phenomenon and his character is an active part of this film,” producers Mark Burg and Oren Koules shared in a statement provided to Deadline.

Following in the footsteps of the continuity laid down by original Saw creators James Wan and Leigh Whannell, the next installment in the franchise aims to retain “everything Saw fans loved about past installments, while also keeping them guessing with all-new traps and a new mystery to solve,” Deadline reports. Kevin Greuter, who directed both Saw VI and Saw: The Final Chapter (and has also edited several Saw movies), will reportedly helm the next film, which is set to carve up theaters beginning Oct. 27 of 2023.

If you're ready to play the game, Saw and many of its sequels are now streaming on Peacock!