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Spiral's Bizarre Plan For A Tobin Bell Cameo | Screen Rant

Tobin Bell's John "Jigsaw" Kramer didn't appear in Spiral: From the Book of Saw, but a bizarre plan almost had him cameo in another way. Bell's Jigsaw ended up becoming the poster character for the Saw franchise, which is understandable considering how good he is in the role, but also a bit funny considering how things started out for him. Bell only appeared onscreen as Jigsaw for a scant few minutes in the first Saw, most of that as part of the shocking final twist that he'd been in the room with Dr. Gordon and Adam the whole time.

Thankfully, despite the relative brevity of Jigsaw's on-camera role in the first Saw, creators James Wan and Leigh Whannell took the time to cast a top-shelf actor in the part. Otherwise, they likely would've had to scramble and find such a replacement for the sequels once Saw became a massive, franchise-spawning hit, and Jigsaw became an iconic horror villain. While Jigsaw died in Saw 3, Bell's presence would be felt in every following film through flashbacks, at least up until Spiral went in a new direction.

Related: Every Saw Movie Ranked, Worst To Best (Including Spiral)

As convoluted as the Saw continuity had become, the franchise was probably due to evolve beyond John Kramer. At the same time, many fans were understandably disappointed to see a new Saw film without Bell taking part. It turns out director Darren Lynn Bousman had an idea for how to mitigate that disappointment via a decidedly odd Bell cameo, but it didn't end up becoming reality.

As revealed by Bousman - who previously directed Saw 2, 3, and 4 - during an interview with Comic Book, his idea for including Bell in Spiral would've been by way of a vocal cameo. Bell actually sings, and some of his music can be found online. Bousman's idea involved using a Bell cover of a Johnny Cash song over the end of the final showdown between new Jigsaw killer William Schenk (Max Minghella) and protagonist Zeke Banks (Chris Rock). The rest of the audio would've dropped away, and been replaced by Bell singing, although it's unclear which Cash song Bousman was referring to.

While that sounds like an interesting, if very strange way to include Bell in Spiral, Bousman and company eventually decided the idea felt too much like a gimmick, and an inside joke designed to wink at the audience. Thus, the decision was made to scrap it. Considering the serious tone of the final encounter between William and Zeke, that was probably the right move. Bousman says that they never bothered contacting Bell about the cameo, as they didn't want to until they were 100 percent certain they wanted to go that particular route. While it's a bit sad that Bell's presence wasn't felt in Spiral - outside of a police photograph - inserting him at the expense of the new story's effectiveness wouldn't have been a good call.

More: How Spiral Continues Saw's Legacy As Horror's Most Socially Conscious Franchise

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