Characters being recast in sequels is nothing new, with horror movies in particular being almost as notorious for the practice as Game of Thrones. And now, Tobin Bell, who’s portrayed the genius engineer and murderer John Kramer/Jigsaw in the Saw franchise since its original installment where he spent the entire time lying supposedly dead on a bathroom floor, has said he supports the character being taken over by another actor in the future.
If Jigsaw will feature in the delayed series resurrection Spiral: From the Book of Saw, the details have so far been kept under wraps. However, if the movie is successful enough it may well spark a continuation of the saga, which would also come with the possibility of bringing back Jigsaw through the likes of flashbacks or recordings, whereupon Bell would be fine with being replaced should that be the direction the creatives wish to go.
“John Kramer is a King Lear-like character. He’s huge, his world is very large. If the writing is amazing, he’s a character that any actor would be thrilled to have an opportunity to occupy.”
Shakespeare’s play about the semi-mythological Brythonic king involves an aging monarch tired of the responsibilities of his vast rule and bequeaths his power to his daughters, and in much the same way, Jigsaw’s legacy of redemptive mutilation and suffering has spread and been taken up by many others to the point that he himself is not required for it to continue, as the very concept of Spiral demonstrates.
Although Jigsaw himself was killed at the climax of Saw III, he still appeared in all subsequent movies, never seeming out of place given how the narrative of each plays fast and loose with the perception of time, so there’s no reason that the killer can not reappear in some capacity.
Bell is likely aware that as a man pushing 80, it would be straining credulity for him to play a character supposed to be at least 15 years younger, and while it would be jarring at first to hear the sinister “Hello…” spoken in something other than the gravelly rasp of his distinctive voice, it may well work out better for further Saw movies in the long run.