Born in Melbourne, Australia, Leigh Whannell is an actor, director, producer, and screenwriter. He is best known for the series of films titled 'Saw', which he wrote, co-wrote and produced, along with his friend
. The duo is the creators of the franchise and Whannell also wrote the Saw video game of 2004. His other films include Dead Silence, Insidious and Insidious Chapter 2. His father being a cameraman in the television industry, Leigh believes he inherited the love for filmmaking from his father and the art of storytelling from his mother. He loved writing since he was a child and he worked as a reporter and a film critic on a youth television show called Recovery, with Dylan Lewis as the host.
Although he auditioned to be the host, he settled on being a reporter. He made his acting debut in films with a small role in The Matrix Reloaded in 2003. He also appeared in the video game Enter the Matrix. While he was acting school, he met Wan, who later went on to direct the popular horror film Saw in 2004. The popularity of the film led to the making of a sequel - Saw II. It was co-written by Leigh, and he was also the executive producer of the film. During the same time, Wan and Whannell wrote Dead Silence and worked on the third installment of Saw. Whannell has a cameo role in the film. The film went on to become the most successful Saw film of the series. He later played a small role in Death Sentence, directed by Wan, but not written by either of them.
He also acted in a 2008 horror film called Dying Breed. Leigh underwent a tough time during the production of Saw. He was suffering fro anxiety and was undergoing treatment for the same, his experience at the neurological ward gave him the idea for the antagonist of the movie. In 2011, he wrote and acted in Insidious, again directed by James Wan. Insidious Chapter 3, which he wrote, was his directorial debut film. Although rumors about him returning to Saw franchise did the rounds in 2014, Whannell announced on his personal blog that he will now focus on a new chapter beyond his relationship with Wan.