The timeline of sequels, prequels, and franchises can get complicated, especially if you have the words X-Men or Annabelle in the title. The upcoming film Annabelle: Creation is kind of sequel, but definitely an origin story, and fans of the Conjuring franchise are left wondering where exactly it fits into the grand scheme of things.
Luckily, one of the producers has offered a little bit of clarity. While speaking with CinemaBlend on the set of Annabelle: Creation, Peter Safran gave some insight into the new film, and how it connects to the other films in the Conjuring universe.
"We made the first Annabelle as a standalone movie, but with its success and certainly even before it came out, after we tested it, we knew we'd made a successful movie. You start thinking about where can you go with it, because it's a great character. It was actually Gary Dauberman who came up with, who is our writer... it was his idea to go back and give the real origin story of Annabelle. And I think it is feathered into Annabelle 1, in a really clever and innovative manner at the end of this movie. I think people will be really satisfied with the way that they dovetail together."
See, the original Annabelle movie was a spin-off of the first Conjuring film. It told the story of the possessed doll that was seen in the beginning of The Conjuring. This origin-of-sorts took place in 1967. Rather than being a simple sequel, Creation takes things back again. The movie will occur 10 years before the first film.
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A whole new set of characters will show up for Creation, telling an entirely new story. The buck isn't stopping there either, as an entire Conjuring universe is being created with these spin-offs. A film called The Nun is already being developed, with plans for other solo films, as well as The Conjuring 3, in the future.
Here's what Safran said about the franchise as a whole, and where it could go from here:
"We have a board that we created that has what we hope will ultimately be our series of movies. We have it in chronological order, so we can keep track of where it all happens. Because yes, we're... I mean, listen, we've already messed it up, I'm sure - from the first Conjuring to Annabelle. I know we did, but we were trying to be pretty careful about it, and you're absolutely right. At some point, you will be able to watch in order, The Nun, Annabelle 2 Annabelle 1, Conjuring, Conjuring 2, you know."
Annabelle: Creation is set to hit theaters on August 11 of this year.