Warning: spoilers ahead for Annabelle: Creation! Read ahead at your own risk!
With a $35 million opening weekend, Annabelle: Creation has solidified The Conjuring universe's place as a promising horror franchise and paved the way for future installments. One such narrative thread that will receive even more attention in the future is the tale of The Nun, who mysteriously appears in a photograph owned by Annabelle's Sister Charlotte. I recently had a chat with Annabelle: Creation director David F. Sandberg about that photograph, and he admitted that, while Stephanie Sigman will not appear as Sister Charlotte in The Nun, the character does have a connection to the Romania-based horror film, saying:
It is not terribly surprising to learn that Stephanie Sigman will not personally appear in The Nun. The Conjuring spinoffs have thus far tried to insulate themselves from one another in terms of casting, and each movie has endeavored to find its own identity. Beyond that, the character clearly doesn't have first-hand experience with the occult during the events of Annabelle: Creation -- which wouldn't be the case if she had encountered Valak, as The Nun will take place before Creation. However, her connection to the events of The Nun (tenuous as it may be) helps establish a sense of continuity and keeps the timeline leading up to Ed and Lorraine Warren relatively coherent.
The tease of Valak in Annabelle: Creation is a perfect example of something The Conjuring universe does incredibly well. Her brief appearance in Sister Charlotte's photograph (and possibly as the being who pushes Janice's wheelchair into the barn in Annabelle) not only induces some great screams from members of the audience, but it also helps lay narrative groundwork without weighing down Creation's core story. The continuity between these films has thus far worked because the directors have handled it with a delicate touch, and the simple act of knowing where Sister Charlotte comes from provides invaluable exposition to help get audiences ready for the next entry in this ever-expanding cinematic world.
We still don't know much about the exact plot of The Nun, but the details that have come forward bode quite well for the next Conjuring offshoot. Taking place in Romania before the events of Annabelle: Creation, the movie will follow a priest named Father Burke (Alien: Covenant's Damian Bichir) as he investigates the mysterious death of a nun at a convent. As he dives deeper and deeper into the investigation, he uncovers a secret that will eventually bring him face to face with the Valak -- the demon nun introduced in The Conjuring 2. The film also stars Taissa Farmiga (the sister of The Conjuring's Vera Farmiga) and is being directed by The Hallow's Corin Hardy.
David F. Sandberg's Annabelle: Creation is now in theaters -- and making a boatload of money. As for the future of The Conjuring universe, The Nun will debut on July 13, 2018. Did you pick up on the tease for The Nun in Annabelle: Creation? Let us know you think of the upcoming Conjuring spinoff in the comments below!