In a new featurette, filmmaker James Wan delves into why The Conjuring expanded into a franchise. Wan directed the first film of the connected horror universe, The Conjuring, back in 2013. The film met critical acclaim and sparked a movement in the horror genre that continues today with franchise’s latest installment, The Nun.
After The Conjuring won over horror fans and film critics alike for its ambitious efforts to break down well-worn genre tropes, Wan was encouraged to create more within the universe and wrote and directed The Conjuring 2, which takes place 6 years after the 1971 events of the first film. From there, the horror franchise was built through films such as Annabelle, Annabelle: Creation, and now this year’s The Nun, all of which wind back the clock and look at the events preceding The Conjuring and its sequel to set up the conflict in those films.
Related: Here’s How The Nun Connects To Annabelle & The Conjuring
In Warner Bros.’ latest featurette for The Nun (below), Wan broke down exactly how and why he and his creative team expanded that first 2013 film into an entire horror franchise. And, as it would turn out, it was superhero films that actually inspired Wan. “One of the things that occurred to all of us early on is, they have a superhero universe, why can’t we do that in the horror world?” Wan explained, adding: “When we were making the first Conjuring, it became very apparent to us that there could be a bigger universe – so many other great stories that would be awesome to look into.”
The Nun will explore the origins of the demonic spirit that haunts the Warrens in The Conjuring 2. Set in 1952, it is the earliest-set film in the entire franchise, preceding Annabelle: Creation, which took place in 1955. American Horror Story star Taissa Farmiga plays The Nun’s protagonist Sister Irene, a young nun who encounters the evil spirit. Wan also explained in the featurette that the main inspiration for The Nun came from the success of the Annabelle pictures. The filmmaker discussed his excitement with how the Annabelle doll has become an iconic figure of the Conjuring universe through her own films and that he wanted to explore the background of The Conjuring 2’s nun character in the same way.
Wan will not be directing The Nun, but he is working on the film as a writer and also helped director Corin Hardy with additional photography. Certainly one of the reasons that the Conjuring franchise is so successful is Wan’s continued involvement through all of the films and their shared visual styles, as well as the “classical…old-school storytelling” that he’s wanted to maintain from the very beginning. The franchise isn’t ending with The Nun, either – plans for Annabelle 3 are in motion, and the studio has scheduled a 2019 release for a currently untitled Conjuring movie as well. With his franchise, James Wan is proving that extended universes should not be and are not limited to the superhero genre and that, most important of all, horror is here to stay.
More: 15 Things You Completely Missed in The Conjuring Franchise
Source: Warner Bros