James Wan has offered an update on some currently-in-development additions to the larger Conjuring universe. It's doubtful that when The Conjuring hit theaters back in summer 2013, anyone could have predicted that Wan's modestly budgeted horror movie would end up spawning its own small-scale cinematic universe. Yet, that's exactly what happened after The Conjuring proved to be a massive hit that surpassed all expectations. Made for only $20 million, The Conjuring hauled in over $300 million worldwide, making it one of the most profitable fright flicks in recent memory.
In the years since, the creepy Annabelle doll that played a small role in The Conjuring received her own spinoff, and proper sequel The Conjuring 2 proved nearly as popular with audiences as the original. This weekend, Wan's universe expands again, with Annabelle: Creation, a prequel to the 2014 spinoff that is so far drawing much more favorable reviews. Next summer sees the debut of another spinoff, The Nun. That one centers on Valak, the powerful demon that took the form of a nun to torment devout catholic Lorraine Warren in The Conjuring 2.
Beyond The Nun though, two more Conjuring universe installments are in varying degrees of development. The first is The Conjuring 3, another direct sequel to the adventures of married paranormal investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren (Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga). The second is The Crooked Man, yet another spinoff, this time concerning a supporting villain in The Conjuring 2 that managed to steal the show for his brief time on-screen. When asked by EW about the status of those two films, Wan replied as follows:
The Conjuring 3: "We’ve been working hard on Conjuring 3. Of course, that is something that I am not neglecting. So, we’re in the midst of working on the script, and still hashing [it] out. We want to make sure that the script is in a really good place. With how much people have loved the first two Conjurings, I don’t want to rush in to the third one if possible."
The Crooked Man: "We think we have a really exciting story. What we want to do, with The Conjuring universe, is we want each of our little offshoots to have a very different flavor, right? So, for example, Annabelle is the classic sort-of haunted doll subgenre. And with The Crooked Man, I would love to push it more down somewhat of that dark fairytale, and more whimsical, subgenre. I love the idea that, within the Conjuring universe, each of our little movies all have their own flavor, so that way they don’t feel like they’re the same films.”
While it was previously reported that Wan likely won't direct The Conjuring 3 - although his stars would very much like him to - the man is clearly very protective over the franchise, and isn't willing to just rush into another sequel to continue cashing in on the property's popularity. With Conjuring 3 still in the scripting stage though, one wonders how long it'll end up being before fans get to once again check in with the Warrens.
As for The Crooked Man, Wan's statements about going in a "dark fairytale" direction and making the film "more whimsical" are sure to intrigue fans, as that would most definitely set the film quite far apart from its predecessors in the Conjuring franchise. At a certain point, one has to wonder just how many expansions The Conjuring universe can handle before oversaturation sets in. Still, one assumes that Warner Bros. will keep pumping new entries out as long as people keep seeing them.
- Annabelle: Creation (2017) release date: Aug 11, 2017
- The Nun (2018) release date: Sep 07, 2018