After this past weekend and the box office performance of The Nun, The Conjuring Universe is at a point where it's stronger than it's ever been as a franchise. Big lines are forming for the new releases, and while the reaction to the latest installment has not been as positive as previous titles, there is no questioning the demand. Fortunately, the future is bright, as not only is the untitled Annabelle 3 gearing up to shoot this fall, but producer Peter Safran recently told me that The Conjuring 3 is aiming to start production in 2019:

It's actually coming along great. David Leslie Johnson is working on the screenplay, and I feel pretty confident they will have that one up and running next year.

Having produced all of the Conjuring Universe movies to date, Peter Safran is one of the key filmmakers navigating the future of the franchise, and I had the opportunity to speak with him about that vision earlier this year. When the subject of The Conjuring 3 came up, the producer not only confirmed its active development, but also established a timetable that suggests we could see the finished film in theaters in 2020.

David Lindsay Johnson, who co-wrote The Conjuring 2, was officially announced to be writing the script last year, though updates about the project have been few and far between. That being said, certainly one interesting news front has centered on whether or not James Wan will return to direct. Despite launching multiple franchises throughout his career, he has never completed a trilogy, and in August of last year he said that he would likely be too busy working on Aquaman to make The Conjuring 3. If the anticipated sequel starring Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga doesn't start filming until next year, however, one wonders if he might not be available after all.

There has been no official statement regarding what case from the files of Ed and Lorraine Warren will be plucked out to make The Conjuring 3 -- but Peter Safran himself had something interesting to say on that front a couple years ago during the making of Annabelle: Creation. Namely, he said that the project would have to move away from the haunted house setup that we've seen and do something different with the established characters. It's an exciting proposition, and we anticipate learning about what direction the film will take.

For now, fans of The Conjuring Universe can see The Nun in theaters -- and I'd also recommend staying tuned here on CinemaBlend for more from my interview with Peter Safran, including updates about The Crooked Man and discussions about a potential The Nun 2. And for what's immediately ahead on the big screen, be sure to check out our 2018 Movie Release Calendar.

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