There are multiple connections made between the Conjuring movies and The Nun -- as the latter is a prequel/spin-off of the former -- but there is one special link between them that goes beyond what's featured on screen. Specifically, the female leads happen to be sisters, with Vera Farmiga portraying paranormal investigator Lorraine Warren in the franchise, and Taissa Farmiga playing postulant nun Sister Irene. As things stand, the relationship ends there, as it has not been established that there are ties between the characters... but according to the filmmakers, that idea definitely isn't off the table. Screenwriter Gary Dauberman recently told me,
Once we realized we were going to go with Taissa - who is just such a talent on her own, and she's fantastic - it sort of just invited the creative discussions of 'Are they related in some way? Or what is the relationship with her to the Warrens?' I think that's stuff maybe we could explore further down the road if we want to. I mean, I certainly have ideas in my head about that. I think James [Wan] does as well. I'm not confirming one way or the other, but I think there certainly could possibly be connections if we wanted to go that route.
In the past few weeks I've had the opportunity to chat with The Nun's filmmakers and stars about the making of the new horror film, and one question that I brought up on a couple of occasions was the curious Farmiga connection. Knowing that the movie didn't specifically address the topic, I asked both Gary Dauberman and director Corin Hardy if they had played around with the idea -- and they not only both confirmed that they had, but added that it's still something we might still see established in a future chapter of the Conjuring Universe.
It should be recognized that within the established continuity right now there isn't much that connects Lorraine Warren and Sister Irene beyond the fact that both are devoutly religious. Lorraine is an American 40-something woman researching cases of the paranormal in 1970s; and Irene is a 20-something nun-in-training living in London, England in the early 1950s. That being said, all it takes is a bit of creativity and suddenly branches can grow to create an interesting and linked family tree for both characters.
When I spoke with Corin Hardy, he also noted that Taissa Farmiga wasn't cast in The Nun because of her connection with her sister -- but did note that it was something very much on his mind as he was watching her work on set. Not only did he see flashes of Vera in Taissa's performance, but added that that have a certain quality to them that makes them weirdly perfect for these paranormal horror stories. Said the director,
It wasn't intentional to begin with, and then obviously I cast Taissa, which was only because she was so good and she had to have the role. Then it was like, 'Well, they do look very similar.' When we were watching some of the scenes, you know, when she's digging up the grave, it was like, 'Wow, she looks so much like Vera here.' And they share a unique brilliant quality, I think - almost the ability to project a supernatural happening. They have something unique, those Farmigas. But it's something I think possibly could be still explored.
You can watch Corin Hardy discuss the potential for a link between Sister Irene of The Nun and Lorraine Warren of The Conjuring by clicking play on the video below: