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While The Conjuring 2 introduced an army of modern horror movie icons like The Crooked Man and Bill Wilkins, one of the biggest fan-favorites was Valak. The demonic nun was so popular, in fact, that she will soon even receive a spinoff of her very own. With that in mind, I recently had the chance to speak to Annabelle: Creation cinematographer Maxime Alexandre about the brand new Conjuring universe spinoff and the franchise's future. When I asked him about The Nun's setting and time period, he revealed that the terrifying spinoff will set its story in the 1940s and 1950s, saying:
Certain sources associated with the development of The Nun had previously suggested that the film would mark the chronological beginning of The Conjuring universe. With Annabelle: Creation taking place firmly in the 1950s, the fact that The Nun could take place in the 1940s or early 1950s seems to corroborate that idea. However, what's surprising about the setting of The Nun is just how close it is to the other Conjuring movies. With a decade separating the events of The Nun and Annabelle: Creation, the timeline being established by these films appears to be pretty tight, meaning it could still somehow potentially tie into the lives of Ed and Lorraine Warren at some point.
If The Nun does indeed take place in the 1940s or 1950s, then it means we will meet the titular demonic presence in post-WWII Rome. The film centers on a priest named Father Burke (Alien: Covenant's Damian Bichir) who travels to the Italian city to investigate the mysterious death of a nun at a convent. As he dives deeper into the riddle of her death, he uncovers a dark secret and finds himself face-to-face with the otherworldly spirit that first terrified audiences in The Conjuring 2.
The Nun was written by Annabelle: Creation's Gary Dauberman and James Wan, and was directed by Corin Hardy. When you look at the amount of talent working on a premise that good, you definitely start to get the sense that this film could become one of the best entries in The Conjuring universe.
It's also worth mentioning that comments like the ones provided by Maxime Alexandre always need to be taken with a healthy grain of salt. He is certainly a fundamental part of The Nun's production, but any comments made by any member of any film (particularly one shrouded in secrecy like this) can't necessarily be taken at face value until they receive definitive confirmation. As of right now, it looks like The Nun set its story in post-WWII Rome, but we will have to wait until we see the first footage to know for sure.