Lionsgate and TwistedPictures are reuniting the original creative team behind Saw and fast-tracking the third episode in time forHalloween this year.
An Oct 27 US release datehas been set for the project, which will be directed by Saw II director Darren Lynn Bousman based on a story from Saw creators Leigh Whannell and James Wan and ascreenplay by Whannell.
Twisted's Mark Burg and OrenKoules will return as producers with Whannell and Wan set to executive produce.Saw III is being dedicated to thelate Twisted partner Gregg Hoffman, who died last November.
The horror franchise hasbecome a cash-cow for the filmmakers, earning close to $250m worldwide to date.Saw II set a Lionsgate recordwith a three-day opening weekend of $31.7m last Halloween and finished on $87mat the domestic box office and more than $148m worldwide.
"Yes, there will bemore blood," Lionsgate's president of acquisitions and co-productionsPeter Block and senior vice president of acquisitions Jason Constantine said ina joint statement.
"We are proud to bepartnered with some of the most disturbing creative talents on the planet, andthe Saw franchise will ensurethat gore becomes every bit as much a Halloween staple as ghosts, goblins andcandy corn."
"We have beendiscussing story lines that extend the Saw franchise to new limits and beyond with Lionsgate for the past severalmonths," Burg and Koules added.
"The most importantelement of any franchise is remaining true to the roots of its success. Webelieve that we are developing a script that is certain to please the Saw franchise's core fans while adding fresh, terrifyingand unimaginable new twists to the Saw saga. Jigsaw himself would be proud."
October is shaping up to bea horror bonanza for genre fans, with New Line's Texas Chainsaw: TheBeginning and Sony's The Grudge 2 already slated to open that month.