Those of us who are still on board for Paranormal Activity 4 are expecting the film to address many of the questions left unanswered by Paranormal Activity 3 – but one thing I don’t think anybody was expecting was for PA4 to act as a launchpad for a new franchise.

However, word  is circulating that Paranormal Activity 4 will imitate Marvel Studios’ marketing approach, by including a post-credit “button scene” that “activates” a new spin-off franchise set within the Paranormal Activity universe.

Bloody Disgusting dropped the rumor, stating that they have word on the matter from sources inside Paramount Pictures. The details state that Paranormal Activity 4 fans should look for a post-credits clip that acts as a teaser for a Latino-themed Paranormal Activity spin-off, which Paramount will release in 2013. THR has previously reported on this project, which will be written and directed by Christopher Landon, the man who wrote the scripts for Paranormal Activity 2 – 4PA franchise creator Oren Peli and producer Jason Blum will also be involved.

By “Latino-themed,” we mean that, thought presented in English, the spin-off  – described as a “cousin” to PA, not a reboot or direct sequel – will feature a Latino cast and revolve around Latin-catholic supernatural mythology – much in the same way that Paramount’s 2012 found-footage film The Devil Inside did. Found-footage horror has been successful for the studio, with the Paranormal Activity movies having earned $575+ million on minuscule budgets and Devil Inside earning $100+ million on  a $1 million investment. Moreover, horror films with religious overtones have played well in the Latino community (see: the success of Devil Inside, the [REC] franchise, etc.), so it’s not surprising to see Paramount trying to tap that market directly.

Speaking of [REC]: it’s going to be hard to avoid comparisons between the two franchises as Landon’s film nears release. For those who don’t know, [REC] is a Spanish film which involves a reporter on a routine story being locked in a quarantined apartment building with other civilians, who are picked off one by one as a deadly “virus” breaks loose, turning human beings into crazed, violent, zombie-monster things. You may (or may not) be familiar with the American remake, Quarantine.

[SPOILERS FOR [REC] BELOW!]

Of course, the big reveal in the [REC] series is that the virus is not a typical pathogen, but rather a demonic infection originating from a possessed girl. In this sense the series already shares a lot of parallels with Paranormal Activity, and from the synopsis of Landon’s film, it doesn’t seem like the degrees of separation will be all that wide (at least, in terms of premise). Latin-catholic mythology was the cause of the trouble in [REC], and it will be the source of the trouble in this Paranormal Activity spin-off.

[END SPOILERS]

Regardless of any potential comparative issues, Paranormal Activity 4 directors Henry Joost and Ariel Schulman better do a good job crafting a captivating (and informative) fourth chapter of the PA franchise, or else there will be little fan enthusiasm to jump onto a whole new spin-off franchise. As it stands, there is a very lucrative opportunity to keep making money with these films – but the haters are definitely out there, and their crowd seems to get bigger (and more vocal) with each new PA installment that comes around.

Paranormal Activity 4 will be in theaters on October 19, 2012. Chris Landon’s Untitled Spin-off project will likely be in theaters sometime in 2013.

Sources: BDTHR