Despite its beginnings as little more than an efficient and low-budget horror series, The Conjuring universe has turned into one of Hollywood's most promising franchises. The terrifying adventures of Ed and Lorraine Warren have spawned a new cinematic universe of eclectic horror films, and one of the most intriguing of the bunch is The Conjuring 2's spinoff, The Crooked Man. The project is ripe with potential to break the mold, and James Wan recently spoke out ahead of the release of Annabelle: Creation and explained that it would be very different by leaning into its fairy tale qualities, saying:
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. 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 film.
Every entry in The Conjuring franchise has felt unique so far. The Conjuring told a very traditional "haunted house" story loosely based on real events, and The Conjuring 2 took that idea one step further by examining an arguably more famous haunting in the London suburbs. By contrast, the first Annabelle leveled its sights on Southern California in the 1960s and framed its narrative by combining fear of the Manson Family with a new take on Rosemary's Baby. Given the creative success of all of those films, The Crooked Man will go one step further by aiming at the fairy tale creature's "whimsical" roots in British folklore.
With all of that said, The Crooked Man is still very much in development, and James Wan's comments to EW don't give us too much to work with. The fairy tale angle naturally intrigues us, but it remains to be seen how that idea will become applied to the overall story of the film. Will The Crooked Man see the fairy tale monster come to life, or will it take place within a fairy tale realm? Both possibilities seem full of good ideas, and each seems plausible within the logic established by The Conjuring universe.
Of course, for now, The Conjuring universe is taking its particular brand of terror into a much folksier direction for its latest outing. Annabelle: Creation centers on the birth of the titular doll, and its demonic possession following the death of a young girl named Annabelle in the 1950s. After Annabelle's parents make the grave mistake of channeling dark spirits to try and see their little girl again, they soon discover that their unwillingness to let her go inadvertently let something evil into their remote farmhouse. Four films in and this franchise only continues to pick up speed.
CinemaBlend will bring you more information related to every upcoming installment in The Conjuring universe (including The Crooked Man) as new details become available. Annabelle: Creation will debut in theaters later this week on August 11.