The Nun writer Gary Dauberman is explaining what separates the upcoming horror thriller from The Conjuring Universe movies that originally featured the character. Filmmaker James Wan all but accidentally created a shared film universe in 2013 with The Conjuring, a horror-thriller that chronicled a case of demonic possession by real-life demonologists Ed and Lorraine Warren (Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga).
Not only was The Conjuring a huge hit, it spawned a smash spinoff, Annabelle, based on the ghoulish doll that was featured in prologue; and thanks to the massive success of The Conjuring 2, two more characters got spinoff movies: The Crooked Man, and the demonic specter of a nun that haunted Lorraine Warren throughout the film.
Following the character’s brief appearance in the new Annabelle prequel Annabelle: Creation (and in the post-credits), fans of The Conjuring Universe will next be treated to The Nun. Set for a July 13, 2018, release, The Nun stars Demián Bichir as a a priest who travels to Rome to investigate the mysterious death of the titular character. Taissa Farmiga also stars a young nun named Irene, while Bonnie Aarons reprises her role as the demon nun from The Conjuring 2.
And while the titular character is obviously connected to The Conjuring films, Dauberman says in a recent interview with Collider to expect a much different movie. He says:
“Y’know, James [Wan] has been really particular and he wants each movie in the universe to have its own sort of flavor and its own sense of style and not feel like it’s just kind of a rehash of what’s come before and I think The Nun takes a really cool approach that, you know, we haven’t seen before in some of the other movies.”
While The Conjuring films and Annabelle were set in the 1970s and Annabelle: Creation was set in the 1940s and ’50s, The Nun’s time period has not yet been divulged. According to Dauberman, though, it will have the atmosphere of the classics produced by a famed London-based studio that came into its heyday in the late 1950s and 1960s that introduced the world to the likes of icons Peter Cushing and Christopher Lee.
“It’s not … just based on the location alone, like where he was very particular about no, it’s gotta be in Romania because of certain story elements, but also because of the production value you get from like, a castle in Transylvania, and this big looming thing, and you get the cross and the fog over the graveyard. It’s very atmospheric, it’s very moody. We talked a lot about the Hammer movies and stuff like that as sort of an influence. So it’s got that kind of vibe to it that I think it’s just different and sets it apart.”
Since the demon nun’s scenes in The Conjuring 2 were easily among the scariest in the film, it will be interesting to see how Dauberman, Wan and director Corin Hardy maximize the potential of the character in The Nun. The bonus is, since the character is being plugged into a Hammer horror-like atmosphere (the studio in all of its technicolor glory produced some of the most creepy and unnerving films of late ’50s, entire ’60s and early ’70s), The Nun is almost guaranteed to be classic chiller out of the gate.
When it comes to the prospects of The Nun, the film definitely has some pedigree, and that’s not just because of Wan’s involvement. Dauberman has not only been a key player in The Conjuring Universe films (which combined have made more than $1 billion worldwide), he also was a co-screenwriter on this weekend’s monster blockbuster IT. If there’s an “it-guy” in Hollywood right now, it’s Dauberman.
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