Kevin Greutert blogs his feelings on SAW 3-D vs. PARANORMAL ACTIVITY 2 studio battle!

The studio war between Lionsgate (Saw 3-D) and Paramount (Paranormal Activity 2) has turned out to be far more entertaining than any movie either franchise could release this year. It's kind of crazy what's going on right now, and I love it. This feels old school - like when 30s and 40s Hollywood would play this game with their biggest contracted stars, but the hilarious thing is it's not a battle over Mary Pickford, James Stewart or Humphrey Bogart! It's over a Saw director! Anyway, for those who haven't been following this battle closely, here's the full story... Last October, we all watched as the Saw franchise's five year grip on the Halloween box office season was finally slain by the most unlikeliest of opponents. Paranormal Activity, an ultra low budget ($15,000) horror became a legendary box office phenomenon when it unbelievably grossed $107 million domestic. The little horror that could took all the press away from Saw VI and of course many box office tickets receipts. The result was the the least successful in the series - nabbing only $27 million total, even less than the opening weekend of Saw V the year previous. In the battle of the two franchises - Paramount had struck the first blow, and were ready to dig the knife in even further. They immediately announced Paranormal Activity 2 would open on Saw's usual release date, Oct. 22nd2010. A ballsy, "we are coming to put you out of business" move, but they then went a step further, striking a huge uppercut by poaching Saw VI director Kevin Greutert to helm their sequel, the director Lionsgate wanted to helm the next Saw movie. Lionsgate, understandably saw this as a direct attack on them. I mean hell, even they know that Greutert isn't all that but initially they went on their way. Lionsgate brought back Saw V helmer David Hackl to direct the next Saw movie and it looked like the game was on for a Saw 3-D vs. Paranormal Activity 2 bout in October 2010. BUT, in quite an astonishing counter-blow, Lionsgate probably started talking to their lawyer and were advised to take option on a contract clause exercising Greutert to direct another Saw installment immediately - a movie which Lionsgate are hoping will save the series. They are in desperation mode now, calling it Saw 3-D, forgetting the numbering system and jumping on that technology's bandwagon to bring fans back. So Paramount lost their director for Paranormal Activity 2, and that's the situation we are in right now, and it's not good for anyone. Greutert must direct a Saw movie he clearly doesn't want to direct and with only two weeks of pre-production time before shooting is to begin (yup, that movie is gonna be a disaster!) and Paramount are in a bad way because they don't have a director and with a looming October release hanging over their head. Greutert has blogged his frustration on his site...

I€™m in the middle of something really terrible right now, as anyone who has come to this site probably knows. While I fight for justice in this, the important thing is to avoid giving in to hatred and anger, because these emotions are life killers. Hopefully we will all arrive at an amicable solution. Thank you to everyone who is working with me on this.
He then followed up with a message that has now been removed, but is was saved for prosperity by a forward-thinking reader of /film who screengrabbed the post... Simply put - neither movie will survive this kind of schoolboy fighting, which has left Greutert in the middle of a divorce settlement between two bickering parents, and poor David Hackl who was on Saw3-D for a cup of coffee, is nothing but a small footnote now in the history of this war. Right now, both Saw 3-D and Paranormal Activity 2 are scheduled for a release on October 22nd 2010 - but it's hard to see either movie surviving this.
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Matt Holmes is the co-founder of What Culture, formerly known as Obsessed With Film. He has been blogging about pop culture and entertainment since 2006 and has written over 10,000 articles.