James Wan is handing the director reins for The Conjuring 3 over to someone new. Wan made his way into Hollywood through horror films, but his partnership with New Line and Warner Bros. has brought huge success. The Conjuring universe launched in 2013 with Wan directing. The Conjuring’s story followed the Warrens, played by Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga, as two of the top paranormal investigators. They returned for The Conjuring 2, which Wan also directed.
This main franchise has been the catalyst for spinoffs like Annabelle and The Nun. The latter is still in its theatrical run, and, while every installment in the Conjuring universe hasn’t been great, they’ve made a combined $1.5 billion at the box office on small budgets. But, fans of the core series want to see what comes next for the Warrens and many hoped Wan would return to complete the trilogy, despite reports noting the unlikely nature of his return.
Based on a new report from THR, that will not be the case as James Wan is stepping away from the director’s chair for Conjuring 3. Although he will be on board as a producer, they’ve found another up and coming director to take his place – Michael Chaves. He’s a recent discovery of Wan’s as Wan is also producing Chaves’ directorial feature debut, The Curse of La Llorona.
Chaves caught the eye of Wan and his production studio Atomic Monster through his award winning short The Maiden. This brought him in to direct The Curse of La Llorona, which is set to hit theaters next April, with New Line distributing. This is a huge vote of confidence in Chaves and the quality of La Llorona, as Wan cares deeply about the main Conjuring storyline he’s established. Chaves will direct Conjuring 3 from a script by David Leslie Johnson, who previously wrote Conjuring 2 and Aquaman for Wan. Production is expected to begin sometime next year.
Wan’s decision to step aside from Conjuring 3 could be for a variety of reasons, but it may just be because his schedule is just too busy. He’s currently working on finishing Aquaman, which should release a second trailer soon, before going on a giant promotional tour for the movie. If Aquaman is as good as many believe it will be, then Wan may be too busy building out Atlantis to take a trip with the Warrens. Even outside of a potential extended stay with DC, Wan’s incredibly busy as a producer. He’s involved with DC’s Swamp Thing series and is producing remakes/reboots of Arachnophobia, Mortal Kombat, and The Tommyknockers. He will still be heavily involved with the Conjuring universe moving forward, but he won’t actually direct the third one. So even though some could be skeptical about him not directing, he’ll still have a hand in crafting what comes next for the franchise.
Conjuring 3 is currently in development but does not have a release date.
KEY RELEASE DATES
Annabelle 3 (2019) release date: Jul 03, 2019