Variety is reporting this evening that Twisted Pictures, the company behind the long-running Saw franchise, is in the midst of closing a deal to take over the Texas Chainsaw Massacre franchise.

The production house is currently working with its partner Lionsgate, which has distributed all of the Saw films, to acquire the rights, which were most recently held under the New Line and Platinum Dunes banners, who released both the TCM remake in 2003 and TCM: The Beginning in 2006.

The previous deal had been made on a per-pic basis with “Chainsaw” rights-holders Bob Kuhn and Kim Henkel, the latter of whom wrote the original 1974 pic with director Tobe Hooper. Also, the deal is said to be for multiple films. But when talks with Platinum Dunes broke down, they turned to Twisted, a deal that would bring both Leatherface and Jigsaw into the same sadistic family.

Twisted’s plan is to contemporize the storyline for a 3D film that would be written by The Grudge scribe Stephen Susco.

I suppose the question becomes — as it always does — why do we really need more Texas Chainsaw Massacre movies? If Twisted Pictures has proven anything in its run as a production house, it is that there are still (relatively) new stories to be told in the horror world. They delivered Saw, Dead Silence and Repo! The Genetic Opera, all of which were not direct remakes or spin-offs of a previously existing horror franchise. Why go to TCM? It’s the money, that’s why. In this lax economy, studios want brands that can be easily packaged and sold — horror fans will be curious enough about a Chainsaw film in 3D that they will guarantee a solid opening weekend and a positive financial run. It’s sad, but true.

What do you think about Twisted taking over the TCM franchise? How about Leatherface in 3D?

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