Saw XI writer teases the theme of the next movie: 'It's got something new to say'

It sounds like the eleventh film in the horror franchise will follow similar thematic material to Saw VI and Saw X.
Saw X. Photo Credit: Alexandro Bolaños Escamilla
Saw X. Photo Credit: Alexandro Bolaños Escamilla /

Saw XI writer Marcus Dunstan recently provided an update on the ongoing development of the popular horror franchise's upcoming eleventh installment, slated for a September 26, 2025 release date. According to his conversation with Screen Rant, Saw XI is an "angry" film with "something new to say."

Dunstan previously co-wrote the scripts for Saw IV, Saw V, Saw VI, and Saw 3D with fellow scribe Patrick Melton. He's returning alongside director Kevin Greutert. In addition to directing the acclaimed tenth film Saw X, Greutert also directed Saw VI and Saw 3D.

Grossing more than $1.1 billion worldwide, Saw is a mega-popular horror franchise originally conceived by Leigh Whannell and James Wan, who produced the original 2004 film that introduced us to the twisted mind of John Kramer and his serial killer alias Jigsaw.

While popular with horror fans, the Saw film series has never been beloved by critics. Until Saw X. A surprisingly refreshing take on the genre, Saw X returned to the franchise roots by setting its story directly after the 2004 film, serving as a prequel to the rest of the movies and focusing on the characters of John Kramer (Tobin Bell) and his apprentice Amanda Young (Shawnee Smith).

When we left off with John and Amanda at the end of Saw X, they had succeeded in getting revenge against the scammers who tricked John into believing they had a miracle cure for his brain tumor. Saw X introduced a formidable new rival to John in the form of Cecilia Pederson (Synnøve Macody Lund). Cecilia gets stuck in a trap at the end, but the scene's framing implies that she will survive.

Saw XI will likely fit thematically with Saw VI and Saw X

A theme of "anger" in the eleventh movie makes perfect sense from both Cecilia's and John's perspectives. Obviously, Cecilia will be seeking revenge, and we know John will be pushed toward doing unspeakable things as he shapes his many horrifying torture traps in the films to come. Saw X also included a post-credits scene teasing the return of another Jigsaw apprentice, Mark Hoffman (Costas Mandylor).

Executive producer Oren Koules previously told SFX Magazine that Saw X ends in an ideal place to pick up in a sequel, with John and Amanda still in a foreign country. Given the critical and financial success of the tenth film, it would be wise for Saw XI to continue the prequel storyline rather than return to the era where John and Amanda are dead.

Dunstan's comments about Saw XI having something "new" to say are intriguing, as this has not necessarily been a franchise with strong social commentary, preferring to focus more on the gore. Arguably, Saw VI was one of the most politically relevant films in the series as it features John going after a bunch of health insurance salesmen and dissecting the predatory nature of insurance companies as a whole.

Well, Saw X shares many thematic elements with Saw VI (plus its writer and director), so I could see Saw XI tapping into a similar well. Given our current sociopolitical climate and the continued rise of healthcare costs, Saw XI has the opportunity to tap into something quite timely.

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