The Nun director Corin Hardy has revealed that James Wan helped with additional photography on the Conjuring spinoff. According to Hardy, Wan stepped in to serve as a second unit director and, thus, help Hardy work around his budgetary and time constraints during the movie's pickup shoots.
Wan, of course, did his part to launch WB's lucrative supernatural horror brand by directing The Conjuring 1 & 2 and producing the two Annabelle spinoff movies released so far. The filmmaker has been even more closely involved creatively with The Nun than he was on either Annabelle or Annabelle: Creation, and is credited for cowriting the story with screenwriter Gary Dauberman, on top of his services during additional photography. Mind you, Wan has also been working on DC's Aquaman for the past few years. That means he actually took time out of his already jam-packed schedule to further assist Hardy on The Nun's production.
Set during the 1950s, The Nun unfolds primarily at a cloistered abbey in Romania and the massive forest that surrounds it. As Hardy explained to EW, he wanted to cover scenes that take place both within the abbey and outside its walls during additional photography, but realized that it would be near-impossible for him to get everything he wanted done without some assistance. He thus took up Wan on his longstanding offer to help out with whatever need be done on the film:
“Very excitingly, James Wan was my second unit director in a little bit of additional photography. It is funny, but we did some additional photography, and you’re always pushing for double what you really can afford, time- or budget-wise. I said, ‘I want to do all of this, but if we’re going to do it, we really need to run two units.’ James is a full-on, hands-on guy and he was like, ‘Anything I can do of service!’ It was like, ‘I really want to take you up on that.’ So, there were nights when he was shooting a section in the forest and I was shooting interiors.”
Even as Wan has spread his wings and tried his hand at different types of genres with franchise movies like Furious 7 and Aquaman, the filmmaker has remained active in the development of The Conjuring shared universe. The Conjuring 3 might even be on-hold until Wan's schedule opens up again, what with stars Vera Farmiga and Patrick Wilson both wanting him to direct the threequel. Similarly, in addition to cowriting The Nun, Wan has been involved in cracking the story for The Crooked Man - another spinoff that, like Hardy's film, is based around a demon that showed up in The Conjuring 2.
The Conjuring spinoffs have a mixed quality record after the first two Annabelle prequels, so it's all the more encouraging to hear that Wan played a truly hands-on role in making The Nun. Hardy is a newcomer to the world of studio films and no doubt benefited from having a more experienced veteran in Wan to assist him in realizing his creative vision for the big screen. With marketing picking up ahead of the movie's release early next month, this news about Wan may help to generate more hype for The Nun as much as any future trailers and/or posters will.
- The Nun (2018) release date: Sep 07, 2018
- Annabelle Comes Home (2019) release date: Jun 26, 2019