Thanks to our friend and Horror Freak News contributor Nick Younker at Inquisitr for putting this juicy item on our radar!
The Conjuring franchise consists of 2 films and 3 spinoffs (two of which have yet to be released); the wildly successful staple of Warner Bros’ stable has already grossed over $885M worldwide, with plenty more expected fill the coffers when Annabelle: Creation hits theaters in August, followed by The Nun in 2018. But now, a $900M lawsuit threatens to cancel out all the series’ profits while potentially slamming the breaks on any future Conjuring-related projects.
The lawsuit was filed by author Gerald Brittle who wrote a book about Ed and Loraine Warren, released in 1980, called The Demonologist. As part of the book’s release, the Warrens signed a contract that barred them from using any case files discussed within for future entertainment projects, including books, films, and television shows.
Initially, Warner Bros dismissed Brittle’s suit as unenforceable, as fair use doctrines don’t allow true, historical events to be copyrighted. But as Younkers explains, the issue is hardly simple:
That error [dismissing the lawsuit] by Warner Bros. was by saying that Brittle’s contract with the Warrens had no bearing over The Conjuring movies because those films were based on “historical facts,” rather than the content of Brittle’s book, The Demonologist.
That is what may have sealed the deal in the lawsuit against Warner Bros. over their Conjuring franchise. In order for that claim to hold up in front of a judge, Warner Bros. would essentially have to prove something that has been mostly unproven now for several centuries. They would have to prove that ghosts, demons and witches are real and they have the powers that were featured on The Conjuring movies. That would also include the case of the Enfield poltergeist, which was featured in The Conjuring 2.
Younkers suspects the suit to be settled out of court, but simply appeasing Brittle’s demands may only solve their current problems: A settlement may include a permanent halt to any new films based on The Conjuring and/or the cases of the Warrens.
Annabelle: Creation haunts US Theaters beginning August 11th; the film is directed by David F. Sandberg (Lights Out) from a script penned by Gary Dauberman (2017’s IT). The film stars Stephanie Sigman (SPECTRE), Talitha Bateman (The 5th Wave), Lulu Wilson (Ouija: Origin of Evil, Deliver Us from Evil), Philippa Coulthard (After the Dark), Grace Fulton (Badland), Lou Lou Safran (The Choice), Samara Lee (Foxcatcher, The Last Witch Hunter), Tayler Buck in her feature film debut, with Anthony LaPaglia (Without a Trace) and Miranda Otto (Homeland, The Lord of the Rings Trilogy). Body actor Javier Botet (Mama, Crimson Peak) is also listed on the film’s IMDB page.
Official Synopsis: Several years after the tragic death of their little girl, a dollmaker and his wife welcome a nun and several girls from a shuttered orphanage into their home, soon becoming the target of the dollmaker’s possessed creation, Annabelle.