'Saw' Was Inspired By A Crippling Migraine And Mel Gibson's 'Mad Max'

Inspiration comes from the most unexpected, and occasionally painful, places.

When James Wan and Leigh Whannell’s horror masterpiece, Saw, was dropped upon us back in 2004, it was something of a revelation. Nothing pointed to the film being a success, let alone being an iconic entry into the horror movie lexicon due to its premise, the traps, iconic scenes like the leg sawing bit, and Jigsaw as the mastermind antagonist.

Yet Saw proved to be the little scary film that could, becoming one of the most successful horror movies ever, and it’s even more unbelievable when you consider that the movie only turned out the way it did because of a migraine and Mad Max.

When James Wan and Leigh Whannell were still in the writing stages of Saw, Whannell was suffering from migraines due to stress and unhappiness over working at a dead end job he hated.

Convinced his migraine was a brain tumour, he went to see a neurologist and while waiting in the waiting room, he had the thought, “What if you were given the news that you had a tumor and you were going to die soon? How would you react to that?”

After combining that admittedly dark thought with the idea of someone putting others into a literal version of a life or death situation with only a few minutes to choose their fate, the memorable character of Jigsaw was born.

As for how Mad Max came to influence Saw, it wasn’t Mel Gibson or the grim look that inspired Wan and Whannell. Rather, it was Mad Max‘s ending where Max gives a baddie – who is handcuffed to a burning car that’s about to explode – the choice to either saw (heh) off his own leg (which will be quicker) or sawing through the handcuffs (which will take longer).

This iconic scene more or less directly inspired the ending of Saw where Dr. Lawrence Gordon is basically given the same choice in order to escape death, except that the difference is the baddie dies whereas Lawrence ultimately ends up (improbably) surviving.

Inspiration comes from the most unexpected – and occasionally painful – places and it certainly was the case for James Wan and Leigh Whannell when it came to Saw, which is still as memorable today as it was back in 2004.

David Simon's Excuse For Not Firing James Franco From 'The Deuce' Over MeToo Allegations Is Weak

Talk about completely missing the point.

Following the sexual misconduct allegations levelled at James Franco, one of the more curious consequences of this MeToo moment was the lack of consequences. Specifically, the actor was still allowed to keep his job on David Simon’s acclaimed TV show, The Deuce, despite all the horrible claims made against him.

Simon has now spoke out about why he didn’t fire Franco from The Deuce and his response was, well, it was piss weak to put it lightly.

In an interview with Alan Sepinwall from Rolling Stone, Simon was asked about the allegations made against James Franco and how he was still able to keep making The Deuce under the MeToo cloud given how the show tackles similar issues of which the actor is accused, and his tone-deaf reply was a mix of indignant defence, projection and just not understanding the issue at hand.

Regarding the sexual misconduct allegations, Simon essentially tried to downplay them by saying that Franco didn’t use his position to “have sex with anyone” unlike men like Harvey Weinstein or Les Moonves.

“The fundamental difference is that James Franco didn’t seek to use his position to have sex with anyone. There’s not a case of that. He wasn’t using his position or status to try to solicit a sexual favor from anyone.”

Okay sure, but just because Franco wasn’t going around forcing people for sex doesn’t mean harassment and misconduct wasn’t happening. It’s pretty ironic that the creator of The Deuce, a show about porn and all the seedy stuff that goes on with it, doesn’t understand that you can commit sexual harassment without sex and/or assault coming into it.

David Simon didn’t stop at that hot take as he continued to dig his way deeper by going after the L.A. Times piece that broke the allegations made against Franco, insinuating the publication “purposely muddled” things.

He said the publication didn’t have “real, solid, fundamental journalism, about real offenders [Harvey Weinstein and Les Moonves] who were using their positions to obtain sex, and misusing women in that fundamental way” that The New Yorker and The New York Times had by comparison and basically stated Franco’s allegations became lumped in with the bigger ones of the larger MeToo umbrella rather than be portrayed as what they are.

For a man whose career is based in journalism, it’s incredibly disappointing to hear him disregard important reporting by the L.A. Time so flippantly, all while not completely understanding the problem at hand.

Even his attempts at trying not to diminish the voices of the women who spoke out against James Franco comes off pretty poorly as he essentially undermines their claims before blaming the media for not distinguishing Franco’s allegations from other the MeToo abusers.

“I’ve been very careful about saying what these young actors and actresses were concerned about, and where their unhappiness lies is meaningful. I’m not saying there isn’t a story there, but the proportionality got lost.”

The entire interview is a rollercoaster read that’s not easily digested but it is worth at least a look as it is a perfect example of how some people simply don’t “get” the problem, especially when they’re a successful, white man in Hollywood. If you needed an example of digging yourself a hole, well, David Simon just provided one.

Simpsons dig up stupid

Ultimately, the whole thing reeks of a man who was so singularly focused on his TV show that he was willing to put it above the safety and concerns of women, and all these allegations are detracting from the “vision” wanted to convey in on The Deuce.

David Simon has since come out in defence of his comments to Rolling Stone and they’re just as flippant and tone-deaf as the interview itself:

Sounds like you need another two years of reflection and listening on the issues at hand, David, because it’s pretty clear you still don’t get it.

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