It sounds like Ed and Lorraine Warren will have another paranormal case to crack next year, what with The Conjuring franchise producer Peter Safran now expecting The Conjuring 3 to start filming by 2019. In the meantime, The Conjuring movie universe will continue to expand with the as-yet untitled Annabelle 3: a spinoff that is scheduled to hit theaters next summer and has been described as a Night(mare) at the Museum-inspired adventure about what happened when the Warrens first added the eponymous (evil) doll to their collection of occult items and cursed objects.
Annabelle, Annabelle: Creation, and The Nun screenwriter Gary Dauberman is set to make his directing debut on Annabelle 3 (which he is also scripting) and recently shared that production on the film will begin mid-October (e.g. next month, at the time of writing). While The Conjuring 3 currently has neither a concrete start date nor a director formally attached, its own screenplay is well into development, according to Safran.
Related: The Nun's Valak Easter Eggs Revealed
Warner Bros. officially green-lit the third mainline Conjuring installment back in early 2017 and set The Conjuring 2 screenwriter Davis Leslie Johnson to work on its script. During an interview to promote last week's release of The Nun, Safran told Cinemablend that The Conjuring 3 screenplay is "coming along great" and that he feels "pretty confident" that the film will begin shooting sometime in 2019 and aim for (probably) a 2020 release. However, Safran didn't comment on whether The Conjuring 1&2 director James Wan will (or will not) be returning for the third chapter.
Plot details for The Conjuring 3 are currently under lock and key, but it seems safe to assume that the film will pick up sometime after the events of Conjuring 2 (which took place from 1976-77), rather than before the first Conjuring, a la the Annabelle movies and The Nun. Beyond that, Safran previously said the third mainline Conjuring movie will veer away from the haunted house story formula of its predecessors. The Conjuring series at large has already begun to do just that, with this month's The Nun swapping out a ghost-infested house for a Hammer Horror-inspired abbey controlled by a powerful demon (i.e. the eponymous creature, Valak).
As for Wan: while he's never stopped being actively involved in the Conjuring franchise's expansion and even cowrote the story for The Nun, it was previously believed that his commitment to DC's Aquaman would prevent from being able to direct a third Conjuring feature. However, that was back when The Conjuring 3 was expected to begin shooting this year - and since that's no longer the case and Wan hasn't lined up any new projects after Aquaman (which hits theaters in December), there's now a much better chance that he will return to bring the Conjuring trilogy to a close after all.
We will bring you more details on The Conjuring 3 as they become available.
- Annabelle Comes Home (2019) release date: Jun 26, 2019