With hits like Saw and Insidious already under his belt, it came as no surprise that filmmaker James Wan's foray into an R-rated haunted house movie, The Conjuring, became one of the biggest horror hits of the year and one of the most profitable films of 2013. Considering we are still in the middle of the cinematic universe that the film kicked off, it's hard to fully appreciate how much that
The film's success was followed by a spin-off film, Annabelle, which focused on a doll that was inhabited by a demonic spirit. Although it only earned a few minutes of screen time, the
Audiences clamored to follow the further adventures of Ed and Lorraine Warren, which resulted in last summer's The Conjuring 2. That film, too, proved to have many riveting elements, with a spin-off, The Nun, having recently wrapped principal photography. Another spin-off, The Crooked Man, will
Wan recently spoke with Entertainment Weekly about what to expect from the upcoming spin-off.
A "Dark Fairytale"
Hitting theaters next summer is The Nun, which will be the next film released in the shared "Conjuring-Verse." With one film opening each year, we shouldn't expect to see The Crooked Man also end up in theaters in 2018, with Wan explaining the filmmakers are in the "early stages, kind of like cooking away."
Despite it being early in the process, the filmmaker knows the path the spin-off will follow, revealing, "We think we have a really exciting story. What we want to do, with The Conjuring universe, is we want each of our little offshoots to have a very different flavor, right? So, for example, Annabelle is the classic sort-of haunted doll subgenre."
He continued, "And with The Crooked Man, I would love to push it more down somewhat of that dark fairytale, and more whimsical, subgenre. I love the idea that, within the Conjuring universe, each of our little movies all have their own flavor, so that way they don’t feel like they’re the same films.”
To some, the success of the Conjuring films and their spin-offs and sequels might come as a surprise, as other horror movies tend to stick with sequel installments. Wan, on the other hand, secretly always had plans for what he hoped to see come from his haunted house film.
“When we were starting out, when we made the first Conjuring, we always kind of quietly, jokingly, among ourselves, felt that the world of the Warrens, and all the interesting artifacts they have in their haunted room, could have their own stories and therefore spawn movies,” admits Wan. “We had hopes and aspirations but we never thought in our wildest dreams that we could actually go on and do it.”
The Crooked Man character made his debut in last June's Conjuring sequel, shown as an evil entity tormenting a small child in a home full of supernatural occurrences. The character is based on an old English poem, which explains, "There was a crooked man, and he walked a crooked mile. /He found a crooked sixpence upon a crooked stile. /He bought a crooked cat, which caught a crooked mouse. /And they all lived together in a little crooked house."
The character was portrayed in the film by Javier Botet, who is 6'7" and weighed roughly 100 pounds at the time of filming, successfully conveying a terrifying and distorted entity. Botet had previously played the ghoulish entity featured in the horror film Mama.
The three films that have been released thus far, The Conjuring, The Conjuring 2, and Annabelle, have grossed nearly $900 million worldwide.