Informal talks of a 9th film in the Saw franchise have become a lot more formal. The project seems to be moving forward. Few thought the series would end after Jigsaw. Bad reviews don’t mean as much as great box office. Still, the financiers behind Jigsaw do need to worry about audience apathy reaching critical mass. Jigsaw didn’t exactly leave them clamoring for more.

Jigsaw was the box office hit that left no one happy. More accurately, no one other than the executives at Twisted Pictures and Lionsgate was thrilled over the film. Audiences didn’t like the film all that much as sites such as Rotten Tomatoes noted. The film only needed to earn $40 million at the worldwide box office to break even on a $10 production budget. The feature earned $102 million. DVD, Blu-ray, streaming, and television revenue haven’t even rolled in yet. The success of the film even led to an “escape room” being created at a Las Vegas casino.

The money just continues to roll in. All that may come to an end if the series continues to disappoint. The last three films in the series were pretty underwhelming, a trend that must change in order for the franchise to survive. Supposedly, segments of Jigsaw “secretly set up a new film.” This may be problematic since a direct continuation of the eighth entry might be a bad idea.

Audiences felt decidedly underwhelmed after watching the boring, plodding film. The entire plan behind the series was to relaunch a new Saw franchise, one that would be independent of the convoluted history of the previous film. The new characters introduced in Jigsaw were not involved with previous 7 films. Future installments of Jigsaw wouldn’t require constant flashbacks to previous sequels. The franchise could start new.

One main drawback sunk these plans: the new characters were dull, one-dimensional, and unappealing. Why would audiences want to see the continuing adventures of these characters? The original three films in the Saw franchise established John “Jigsaw” Kramer as a complex and ruthless protagonist. Tobin Bell’s charisma helped keep the franchise alive long past its logical exp the ration date. Bell can’t be expected to work miracles with boring and uninteresting material.

Bell noted he would like to explore the “character” of Billy the Puppet in the next film. Bell may be onto something here – his idea sounds interesting. And the next Saw/Jigsaw movie positively must be both interesting and original for the franchise to move forward.