Updated: Feb 26, 2020
What's going on, you guys! Welcome and thank you for tuning into Back Row! Today, I'm going to recap all that we know about the future of The Conjuring Universe! Facts, rumors, and speculation ahead!
Welcome to the best seat in the house, everybody! I'm Chase Cupo! So, The Conjuring Universe. The Kanja Club. If you're new here, then let me tell you that I love the absolute shit out of these movies. It took me forever to try one and get into it because I was petrified of horror movies for so long. Like, until a few years ago. The first Conjuring movie I saw in theaters was Annabelle: Creation. I loved it, still do. I literally missed half of that movie because I was covering my eyes so much. So, I really like to keep up on what might be coming out and I am particularly interested now because the franchise is seemingly almost out of steam.
It has been a really good run so far and will have a nice shelf life because at least two (I would say four, personally) of the movies are certifiably good, so there will always be newcomers to its audience. Ever since The Conjuring 2, there has been a down turn in critical and audience reception on the whole. The films also made less and less money. The franchise hit simultaneous near lows and highs with the release of The Nun. It scored a relatively huge opening weekend and made a boatload of money. It also is one of the most disliked films in the franchise. I mean, I'm gonna say it, it feels like a failure at the script and directorial level. It is super cool. Like, one of the coolest movies I've ever seen. It just doesn't hold up, Grace Randolph put it well when she said it seems as if it felt like a student film at times. It isn't as scary as I'd like. I like to go into these movies and barely be able to open my eyes and jump at every scare. Didn't get that with The Nun. It still gave me nightmares though.
So, yeah. The Curse of La Llorona was a quick dash at saving an awful film by calling it a Conjuring film. That was worse than The Nun. I think the franchise put out a GREAT entry with Annabelle Comes Home, but this one fell in, like, with most of the other movies. People liked it, didn't love it. It made money, but not the best haul you've ever seen. I think general audiences are getting a little bored with the vibe of these films.. I think that those people are wrong for having that opinion and these movies should never stop, but… I digress.
I'm really here to talk about the upcoming movies. I brought up the brief history of reception and money because part of looking into the future on this is how much longer will the franchise be able to go with interest dying down? They keep these coming because they are profitable, not because I like them. So, here are the confirmed, upcoming projects:
The Conjuring 3: The Devil Made Me Do It -
Paranormal investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren try to uncover the truth behind a murderer's claim of demonic possession. It will be directed by Michael Chavez (The Curse of La Llorona) and stars Patrick Wilson and Vera Fermiga (Ed and Lorraine Warren). This film has been in the pipeline for a while now. It has basically been planned since The Conjuring 2 was finished, but there was no director attached and Peter Safran and James Wan (producers) went ahead with some spinoffs in the meantime. I desperately wanted Wan back to direct and finish his trilogy. He has moved onto other kinds of films. He went back to the blockbuster fold with Aquaman and is finishing post production on a different brand of horror with his upcoming film, Malignant. He and Safran said that while Wan loves horror and The Conjuring stuff, he kind of let it all loose with The Conjuring 2. He needed to do something different. He is still actively involved as a producer and writes a lot on the movies, even.
So, he gave Michael Chavez a chance with The Curse or La Llorona. He, somehow, decided to give Chavez the keys to Conjuring 3 afterward. Chavez is in good hands with the writers from the previous ones on board. Joseph Bishara is also back on board as composer, which is amazing. Wan, Chavez, Safran, Wilson, and Fermiga have all teased that this is like nothing we have seen from The Conjuring Universe so far. They are all in on how unique and scary it is. I was hesitant until the subtitle, The Devil Made Me Do It, was announced. They got me there. Great vibe! Scary vibe! Hopefully Chavez has a better environment to succeed this time and it really comes through. I'm guessing that this is the last film in the main Conjuring movies. The first two are so scary and amazing. Wilson and Farmiga are one of my favorite on screen couples ever, but there isn't much more to do with them. We will see this in theaters September 10, 2020
Annabelle 4 -
This film is yet to be titled, has no director or writer, no release date, and no news. The doll, while it is pretty cheesy at this point, is just a banger of a design. Fucking banger, bro. They have gotten so much mileage from it and there is more to be had. I have said in previous episodes that I think they need to stop after Annabelle 4, but they could literally probably go up to 6 or 7 before truly killing it. I am down for more, but for those who are sensible and those who aren't super fans, it is probably getting comical at this point with every Annabelle announcement. Still, I think they have plenty of options for the story. They could always do something new. Like Annabelle Comes Home. Don't pick up a plot thread from before. They can go ahead with another story featuring Judy Warren. McKenna Grace was really good in the role. I think they can do an Endgame style movie with some of the survivors from the previous Annabelle movies being brought together to banish the evil once and for all. See? There are three good options, amongst a sea of them. Easy fucking money.
Now these are unconfirmed movies. They have been mentioned by Safran or Wan, but not really confirmed:
The Crooked Man -
This is something that has also been on the books for a long time. It just hasn't come together. When they wrote and produced The Conjuring 2, they were sure that they had a hit on their hands with The Crooked Man. They immediately started formulating story ideas, but audiences latched onto The Nun, not Crooked Man as much. This led to the spin-off off movie they didn't initially expect to make. Javier Botet, who played the Crooked Man, said they still want to do the film, but they just haven't nailed down a story. Last I heard from Safran in an interview I saw, he said they want to do something really different. They want to do a dark fairy tale with this creature and it's aesthetic, as opposed to haunted house horror. Other than that, there is not much information on this. I feel like it has kind of been lost in translation. With the potential spin-offs from Annabelle Comes Home and other new ideas, I think this one may get lost in the shuffle for good.
The Nun Sequel -
Once again, not much confirmed on this. Leading up to the release of The Nun and afterward, James Wan said he was already working on an idea for a sequel that would connect even more with The Conjuring and bring Lorraine into the fold. There has not been much movement on a script since then as far as I am aware. I definitely think we will see a sequel, the design of The Nun is too fucking good NOT to keep utilizing, but after the critical reception of the first film and the ease of producing Annabelle movies (which seem to be crowd pleasers overall), this one also seems to be on the back burner. I am excited to see what someone can do with the mythology they established and bring something new to the table in terms of scares. Corrin Hardy has talent, but he had a flat script from Gary Dauberman (he writes hits, man. Inconsistent quality, but it’s always a money-making banger, for sure) and directed the movie pretty flat. So, someone can hopefully do Valak even more justice.
Now these here are some super rumors. These movies may or may not have been mentioned in an official manner or by someone like Wan or Safran, but they are far off possibilities:
The Curse of La Llorona Sequel -
The first movie was nearly a flop and had horrible reception, but it still did enough to earn the possibility of a sequel. Especially being a film in The Conjuring Universe. It was slapped together, but the film had two good ideas in bringing a new culture to the equation and having someone other than The Warren's or a more traditional Catholic, American priest trying to exercise a demon. The film didn't even do a good job with spotlighting another culture, since a clueless white lady was the main character. You can see what they were doing there, but it is so painted by the numbers it falls down with the rest of the film. It's like she was our vehicle to be introduced to this ghost from Mexican and Spanish culture. Fetl funny though. Plus, the woman in white is one of the most popular folktales that I know of. Real original. Still, a sequel to this or a new and separate spinoff with a real Latino core to it could be really fresh. I don't think a sequel will happen. I think this is the last of La Llorona in this franchise. Anna (Linda Cardellini), her kids, and Rafael (Raymond Cruz) could definitely be seen in a spin-off or cross over again. Especially Rafael.
Annabelle Comes Home Spin-offs -
When The Conjuring was released, James Wan initially had the idea of, "What if we do a film for every artifact in the Warren's Artifact Room?" They really hit with the design of the room on that one. They came back to it and finally kind of outwardly (as opposed to just being mentioned in special features home releases) stated those intentions with Annabelle Comes Home. Billed as a horror version of Night at the Museum, it featured the Warren's daughter, Judy, and her babysitters trying to survive a night of terror when Annabelle is released from her case and she conjures other spirits and demons locked in the house. I loved the movie and it was a great and well executed idea to test out further Spin-offs in one movie. There were some unique creatures. The Ferryman, The Werewolf, The Bride, The Samurai thing… There is a good chance that one or more of those gets an actual spin-off film. The Bride and Samurai Thing have been floated as the best ideas. I don't jive with The Bride, but see a lot of potential with that Samurai armor. The movie also sets up further spin-offs, well it sets up the possibility of them, for any artifact sitting in the room.
The Nurse -
Back in 2017 when Annabelle: Creation was released, WB held a short film contest. It was awesome and I feel like it was directly inspired by David F. Sandberg, the director. He started out as a YouTuber and struck big with some horror shorts, that led to him directing Lights Out (the feature adaptation of his short), Annabelle: Creation, and now he even did Shazam!. So, the contest was to submit an original horror short and the winner (the one deemed the best or most popular film) for a prize package and the film was inducted into the franchise canon. The winner was The Nurse. Julian Terry wrote and directed it. Check him out on YouTube. I don't remember if part of the contest was to have the winning film adapted to feature format, but I at least remember that being rumored. It hasn't gone anywhere. I am betting a script was never written, or if it was, he submitted one and they just kind of didn't do anything with it. I would necessarily welcome this one, just because it is so simple. Execution might be bungled because it's too easy, you know? It's ironic.
And now, just a quick bonus idea I just came up with. I thought of it when I was going on about Annabelle Spin-offs. I have an idea for one! Make one about The Church of Ram. That is the cult group that Annabelle joins and are responsible for the murder in the beginning of Annabelle. Annabelle is the girl in Creation who had polio and was possessed by Ram (the demon.) The one that murders that couple early on in the film. I'm not sure if she was possessed her whole life or if she is just really fucked up from the possession... Maybe the demon lays dormant after a while. Either way, she ends up in that cult and eventually dies (kills herself) after murdering that couple (her foster parents) which releases Ram to try and take another soul. Mia's baby's soul to be specific.
So, how about a thriller set in The Conjuring Universe? Not sure what the story would center on, but they can make it pretty stand alone. Maybe a newcomer to the cult goes through the works and ends up being sacrificed? We could have cameos from Ram and Annabelle (the doll and the woman). Could be something fresh in the franchise. Annabelle, the original movie, took a fuck of a lot of inspiration from Rosemary's Baby, so why not continue the inspiration by making this cult movie!
So, no matter what I think that the way forward is spinoff movies of what we already have. Annabelle is probably going to be shelved (at least temporarily) after this next one, The Conjuring seems to be at the end of its rope, and The Nun probably doesn’t have more than one or two sequels in it, if at all. So, Ferryman, London Werewolf, etc., those are the new kinds of entities and stories I think we will get, as long as the cash keeps flowing.
Well that about wraps it up. That is all I know, think is possible, and may want to happen. Well, that's all for now. Drop a comment on the article or the YouTube video if you have any more info, if you're excited for more Conjuring Movies, and what movies you want to see!