It’s hard to refute the success of The Conjuring. While it may not be horror’s true savior as some sites would like you to believe, it is no doubt one of the more popular titles to see release in the last half-decade. The film has already given way to a spinoff, Annabelle, which, sadly, failed to impress on any level, as well as a sequel that absolutely rocks, and has proven to be a unanimously loved film just six days after release.
That’s a big homerun for the studio as well as James Wan, who directed both The Conjuring and The Conjuring 2. And now we’ve learned that this franchise is so hot it’s birthed yet another spin-off, The Nun. We’re hoping The Nun proves to be a stronger film than the failure known as Annabelle.
And by the way, Annabelle is even getting the sequel treatment, this time with a very competent director at the helm, Lights Out creator David F. Sandberg.
So, thus far, The Conjuring has given us a sequel, a spinoff and a second soon-to-be-shot spinoff. With David Leslie Johnson – who co-wrote The Conjuring 2 – handling the script we’ve got a real shot at seeing something special from The Nun.
Word is still out on who will direct The Nun, and who will stand in front of the cameras, but with James Wan being involved (you know the man will produce) and a screenwriter of Johnson’s caliber on board, The Nun stands to outperform Annabelle, significantly… we hope.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, we likely came quite close to never seeing a Nun spinoff, as the character was originally designed to be something else entirely. Until Wan shot New Line a last minute idea that won execs over.
The studio and Wan had a cut of the movie, which stars Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga as paranormal investigators, in which the antagonist was a demonic figure with horns. The studio was ready to release that version but at the last minute, Wan was struck by a revelation. And so he came up with a new concept, a demon nun, which he pitched to New Line. And even though the late-in-the-game change could have spooked some studios, New Line exec gave him their blessing.
The shoot took place in March, just three months before the movie was scheduled to open on June 10. Some of the changes were minor: The art piece that Wilson is painting was altered digitally as the horned demon made way for the demon nun. Some were more extensive, such as a set piece in which Farmiga watches in terror as a shadow crawls across the wall to line up with the painting and … (well, you’ll just have to see the movie to learn more). Bonnie Aarons, under heavy makeup, played the character.
There’s still much to be learned of The Nun. But chances are New Line will want to get this one out to the masses as quickly as possible, as it’s sure to make for a great cash grab (even the subpar Annabelle drew worldwide figures north of $250 million), regardless of the quality of the film (we’re hoping it’s amazing, for the record, but you’ve got to hope for the best and expect the worst, as they say).
Don’t go too far, The Nun will likely see a speedy production and release, so we should have plenty of additional information and media to share with you soon.