Darren Lynn Bousman may not have directed the first "Saw" film, but he's ready to direct his third straight sequel in the gore-filled franchise.
Lionsgate and Twisted Pictures announced on Monday (Feb. 19) that Bousman, director of both "Saw II" and "Saw III," will return for "Saw IV."
There had been rumors that Bousman was ready to pass the "Saw" torch to another director, rumors compounded by his attachment to several additional projects. Instead, he'll be back when "Saw IV" begins its six-week shoot on April 16.
"It's not often that a filmmaker is given the opportunity to follow a genuinely compelling character through two films, much less three," Bousman says in a statement. "So I'm very excited about picking up the reins on 'Saw IV,' and delving even deeper into the Jigsaw legend."
"Saw IV" has already set an Oct. 26, 2007 release date, making this the fourth consecutive Halloween to feature Jigsaw's particular brand of mayhem.
"Having Darren behind the camera gives 'Saw IV' a real edge,so to speak," says Peter Block, Lionsgate's president of acquisitions and co-productions. "He has led this franchise into box office history while proving himself a modern master of psychological terror."
Twisted principals Mark Burg and Oren Koules add, "It's great to have the 'Saw' creative team back together for 'Saw IV.' We're looking forward to working with Darren, Lionsgate and all the Twisted minds to bring horror fans more of Jigsaw's gore and games."
Released in Oct. 2006, "Saw II" made $80 million domestically, down slightly from the $87 million haul for 2005's "Saw II." However, the foreign tally of $70-plus million was $10 million higher than "Saw II" did overseas. Lionsgate claims that with a worldwide box office take of over $400 million, the "Saw" series is the most successful horror franchise of all time.