Saw and Insidious director James Wan’s The Conjuring is the rare example of a horror film that both pleased critics and attracted a large mainstream audience in theaters, resulting in the film’s $318 million worldwide gross on a $20 million budget. The movie has since given rise to a spinoff titled Annabelle (a critically-derided film that nonetheless grossed $257 million worldwide on a $6.5 million budget), as well as The Conjuring 2 – a sequel that, unlike Annabelle, Wan directed in addition to producing and co-writing.
Seeing as The Conjuring 2 is already a critical success (like its predecessor) and has currently grossed $96 million worldwide less than a week after it opened in the U.S. (against a $40 million budget), it’s fair to assume that Warner Bros. Pictures has no intention of letting the horror franchise lie dormant anytime soon. Case in point, Annabelle 2 is scheduled to hit theaters in 2017, there’s now talk of The Conjuring 3 – and, it turns out, a spinoff of The Conjuring 2 is moving forward already, too.
THR is reporting that WB is moving forward with a Conjuring 2 spinoff titled The Nun, with Conjuring 2 co-screenwriter David Leslie Johnson (who’s also working with Wan on the Aquaman movie) attached to pen the script. Wan and Conjuring series producer Peter Safran are already lined up to produce The Nun – which, as its title suggests, will revolve around the demonic nun character that plays a key role in the storyline for The Conjuring 2. (And on an interesting sidenote: the demonic nun’s look wasn’t finalized until during reshoots that took place some three months before the Conjuring sequel was released in theaters.)
Where the Annabelle spinoff explored the untold backstory for the haunted doll of the same name that was featured primarily in the prologue to The Conjuring (though it did re-appear later in the film), The Conjuring 2 arguably doesn’t hint at the demonic nun character in the movie having any sort of spinoff-worthy history that goes that far beyond what has been revealed about the monster by the end of the sequel. On the other hand, without getting too spoiler-y for those reading this who haven’t seen the movie yet, The Conjuring 2 doesn’t examine what trouble-making the demon got up to prior to the events depicted in the film (including its own prologue), either.
Although a number of filmgoers no doubt have limited interest in either a Conjuring spinoff or sequel not directed by Wan (especially after Annabelle), there’s also no denying that the Conjuring universe is one that moviegoers have yet to grow tired of and that many horror fans in general probably want to visit again, post-Conjuring 2. WB is reported to be prioritizing the development of new installments in its established film properties over brand-new movies, so that’s all the more reason to believe that the studio is going to continue releasing new films based in the Conjuring cinematic universe (like The Nun) so long as enough moviegoers seem interested.
The Conjuring 2 is now playing in theaters. Annabelle 2 opens in U.S. theaters on May 19th, 2017. The Nun doesn’t have an official release date yet.