James Wan is the film director behind the horror series Saw. Born in Malaysia and raised in Australia, he studied film at the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology, where he met his screenwriting partner, Leigh Whaddell. Together they put together a sample of Saw and went to Los Angeles to find backing. A successful screening at the Sundance Film Festival led to a distribution deal in 2004, and the $700,000 movie made more than $18 million its first weekend. It spawned six sequels, leading a wave of grisly and gory horror movies at the box office. Wan, meanwhile, turned to other pursuits, including the less-gory horror films Dead Silence (2007), Insidious (2010) and The Conjuring (2013, starring Vera Farmiga), as well as the crime thriller Death Sentence (2007, starring Kevin Bacon).
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