The Conjuring leads Vera Farmiga and Patrick Wilson are reprising their roles as paranormal investigators Lorraine and Ed Warren in the upcoming spinoff/prequel, Annabelle 3. Farmiga and Wilson have only played the Warrens in director James Wan's first two Conjuring films thus far, largely because the spinoffs in the franchise have all taken place prior to the first Conjuring movie, up to this point. That includes the previous two Annabelle films, as well as this year's addition to the Conjuring universe, The Nun.
That changes with the third Annabelle spinoff. The film takes place after the Warrens have collected the titular demonic doll - an event shown in the prologue to the first Conjuring - and added it their collection of cursed artifacts, which they keep in a secure room in their home. However, in a Night at the Museum-inspired twist, it turns out that Annabelle is able to bring other evil objects in the Warrens' collection to life and terrorize their young daughter, Judy (McKenna Grace), while the pair are off on yet another demon-hunting adventure.
Deadline reports that Farmiga and Wilson are playing the Warrens in Annabelle 3 (which begins shooting this week for a Summer 2019 release) and Wan has further confirmed the news via his Twitter account. The pair only have a supporting role in the film, but will return to the spotlight when Conjuring 3 starts production sometime next year (most likely), under director Michael Chaves' supervision.
With the Warrens away from their home for most of the film, Judy serves as one of Annabelle 3's main protagonists, along with Madison Iseman (Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle, Goosebumps 2: Haunted Halloween) as her teenaged babysitter cousin and the latter's friend (casting TBA). Annabelle, Annabelle: Creation and The Nun screenwriter Gary Dauberman is writing the film, in addition to making his debut as a director on the project. All the same, Annabelle 3 is expected to have a cinematic style and R-rated tone that resembles the Annabelle movies before it.
Small their roles may be, it will nevertheless be nice to see the Warrens back in action in Annabelle 3. What's less certain, though, is whether the film will succeed in finding an approach to the larger Conjuring mythology that feels fresh and inventive, and not just like a rehash of what this franchise has offered in the past (all the more so since we're already two Annabelle movies deep). Then again, The Conjuring universe has managed to surpass just about all expectations up to now and become a billion dollar monster in its own right, so who knows - it may yet have some unexpected tricks left up its sleeves.
[UPDATE: According to a new report from Deadline, Katie Sarife (Girl Meets World) will play Judy's cousin in Annabelle 3. It sounds like Iseman is still playing Judy's babysitter as previously reported, but won't be related to the Warren family in the film.]
- Annabelle Comes Home (2019) release date: Jun 26, 2019