While Universal's Dark Universe was pretty much dead on arrival, another horror-based cinematic universe has sprouted up organically from James Wan's 2013 film The Conjuring. Already four films deep, The Conjuring Universe will soon add another chapter with the release of The Nun early next month. Unlike, say, the MCU, where everything is fairly linear and the connections are very clear, The Conjuring Universe is a bit more mysterious. So in advance of The Nun hitting theaters, a new video has been released that explains how this film connects to the rest of The Conjuring Universe and where it fits within it. Check it out:
It is kind of cool that there is a firm, concrete timeline for this franchise, making it very apparent that this is indeed a cinematic universe and The Nun has a special place within it. The character of the nun was first introduced in The Conjuring 2, which took place in 1977. In that film, The Nun, who was the demon called Valak, haunted Lorraine Warren. Here we see that, like most demons, the demonic nun has been at this for a while. The Nun will take us back in time to reveal the origins of that evil. Within The Conjuring Universe, The Nun will be the very first film in the timeline, taking place in 1952, although Annabelle: Creation does have some flashback scenes that take place before it. The Nun represents the start of what the Warrens will battle decades later in The Conjuring 2.
Also in this video, The Nun director Corin Hardy and producer Peter Safran tease that although this film takes place within The Conjuring Universe, it will offer up something different than what audiences have seen before. Instead of the Warrens we will have much different protagonists this time around with Demián Bichir's priest and Tessa Farmiga's novitiate sent from the Vatican to investigate a Romanian abbey after a nun kills herself. The different timeline and setting should give this movie a different feel and the further back in time you go the less technology and knowledge there is, and the scarier things can become. Staying fresh and unpredictable is great for scares, and that seems to be what The Nun is going for.
In this explainer video, you also hear James Wan talking about when audiences take to a character, and want to know more about them. That opens up opportunities for another series to explore, and that is the thinking that gave rise to this cinematic universe. At the end of The Conjuring 2, Ed Warren brought back a zoetrope of "The Crooked Man" and now a Crooked Man spinoff within The Conjuring Universe is in development, proving that the Warrens really need to stop taking souvenirs. For those who prefer the mainline films in this franchise, The Conjuring 3 is also in the works (although the busy James Wan is not expected to direct), and there is also Annabelle 3 (which will have screenwriter Gary Dauberman making his directorial debut).
The Nun hits theaters on September 7th. Check out our release schedule for all the biggest movies still to come this year.