The Conjuring 3 producer James Wan has confirmed an earlier report that the movie will focus on a murder trial where demonic possession was used as a legal defense. Unlike the first two movies, which were directed by Wan, The Conjuring 3 will be directed by Michael Chaves, who recently helmed upcoming horror movie The Curse of La Llorona. However, Wan still has a role in steering the direction of the franchise, which also includes spinoffs like Annabelle and The Nun.
The Conjuring movies are based on the case files of real-life paranormal investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren (played by Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga). So far they've explored the supposedly possessed Annabelle doll, the Amityville haunting, the Perron family haunting and the Enfield Poltergeist. In The Conjuring 3, however, it seems as though the focus will shift from defeating demons to attempting to prove their existence in court.
Speaking to Bloody Disgusting, Wan described the main Conjuring movies as the "mothership" of the shared universe, which is why they're all based on the Warrens' actual case files. "It’s important that the mothership stays true to the inspiration of the real people," he explained. "The spinoffs are where we get to have more fun and do weird and wonderful crazy things." Wan also confirmed an earlier report about The Conjuring 3's plot focusing on a murder trial, with demonic possession as the case for the defense:
"It’s not necessarily based on an artifact but it’s based on one of the Warrens’ case files... It’s this guy who was on trial for committing a murder. I think it’s the first time in America’s history where the defendant used possessions as a reason, as an excuse."
Based on the details offered by Wan, it seems pretty clear that The Conjuring 3 will be based on the trial of Arne Cheyenne Johnson (pictured above). In 1981, Johnson was charged with first-degree manslaughter for stabbing his landlord, Alan Bono, to death. Prior to the killing, the family of 11 year-old David Glatzel enlisted the Warrens' help in trying to exorcize a demon from the child's body. Johnson claimed that, after fleeing the boy's body, the demon had possessed him and forced him to murder Bono. The trial became known as the "Devil Made Me Do It" case, attracting a media circus (driven in part by the Warrens).
It sounds like The Conjuring 3 may tread similar ground to Scott Derrickson's The Exorcism of Emily Rose, which was based on the real-life exorcism of Anneliese Michel and the ensuing trial, in which Michel's parents and the two priests who performed her exorcism were charged with negligent homicide. The Exorcism of Emily Rose was as much a courtroom drama as a horror movie, exploring the question of how supernatural occurrences could be used as a legal defense. Let's hope The Conjuring 3 can deliver a similarly intriguing storyline - along with the usual dose of scares, of course.
Source: Bloody Disgusting