A few months back, we brought you the news that both The Conjuring 2 and its spinoff film concerning Annabelle the evil doll were in jeopardy of not being made, due to a lawsuit filed against Warner Bros. The suit alleged that Warners failed to properly compensate Evergreen Media Studios, the company through which the contents of Ed and Lorraine Warren's case files were licensed for use in The Conjuring. While the dispute has yet to be solved, it appears that Warner Bros. still plans to go full steam ahead with both films, lawsuit pending or not.
Fittingly, the Annabelle-related spin-off film has officially been titled Annabelle and will, as previously reported, be released October 3, 2014. This will put Annabelle in direct theatrical competition with the David Fincher directed mystery Gone Girl and the Reese Witherspoon fronted Oscar-bait drama The Good Lie.
Modestly budgeted at only $20 million, The Conjuring was one of the most profitable films of 2013, raking in over $300 million worldwide. With that in mind, it's not hard to see why Warners is opting to push ahead with the franchise despite a potential court battle. Of course, if past is prologue, this conflict will likely end up like most Hollywood rights disputes: a settlement will be reached that makes both parties even more insanely rich.
Annabelle herself was only a supporting character in The Conjuring, with her creepy presence mostly serving as a catalyst to draw audiences into the terrifying and (allegedly) true paranormal investigations of Ed and Lorraine Warren. Considering the fact that The Conjuring ended with Annabelle still safely(?) contained in the Warrens' vault of horrors, the spinoff film will presumably function as a prequel, putting the spotlight on a prior target of Annabelle's demonic influence.
Sadly, for those who enjoyed their work as the Warrens, Conjuring stars Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga are not expected to appear in Annabelle, although they are indeed set to return for The Conjuring 2. Leading Annabelle's cast are Alfre Woodard (True Blood), Annabelle Wallis (The Tudors), Ward Horton (The Wolf of Wall Street), and Brian Howe (Justified).
Plot details for Annabelle remain vague, but considering that Warner Bros. greenlit the spinoff only a few months after The Conjuring was released, it's doubtful that the studio is worried about getting a return on this investment. Will lightning strike twice, making Annabelle another massive hit? Or will this possessed doll fail to give Chucky a run for his money at the box office?
Annabelle will be released to theaters on October 3, 2014.
Source: Warner Bros.