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Sequel sees there’s more to ‘Saw’

Pic slated to begin production in February

Lions Gate Films and Twisted Pictures will produce a sequel to “Saw,” the low-budget thriller that earned $18.3 million over Halloween weekend.

Twisted principals Mark Burg, Oren Koules and Gregg Hoffman will produce; the film, slated to begin production in February, will be released Oct. 28.

“Saw” director James Wan and writer-actor Leigh Whannell will exec produce, with heavy involvement in prep and post-production.

“They’ve entrusted their franchise to us, and we’re not going to screw it up,” said Koules.

A helmer and scribe for the sequel are yet to be set.

Wan and Whannell’s next project as filmmakers will be “Shhh,” a thriller they set up at Universal Pictures earlier this year. Twisted will also produce that film.

“Saw” follows a madman who abducts amoral people and forces them into horrific games of survival. Pic stars Cary Elwes, Danny Glover and Monica Potter as well as Whannell.

In summer 2003, Wan shot a three-minute calling card that depicted Whannell with his face encased in a steel bear trap device timed to tear off his lips unless he opened it with a key lodged inside another person’s stomach.

The scene prompted Burg and Koules, partners in management and production shingle Evolution Entertainment, to take out a second mortgage on their new offices to fully finance and own the film.

Burg, Koules, Hoffman, Wan and Whannell jointly hold the “Saw” copyright. Lions Gate bought world rights to “Saw” just before its bow at this year’s Sundance Film Festival.

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