Thus far, the timeline for The Conjuring Universe is kind of all over the place. Conjuring 2 takes place after The Conjuring, but the first Annabelle is set before both of them; and Annabelle: Creation was the earliest established point in the continuity up until the release of The Nun. It's pretty clear that any of the stories in this franchise can be set at any time, which is why it's interesting to note where Gary Dauberman's upcoming Annabelle 3 takes place in relation to the other stories, which the writer/director recently revealed:
This is the Warrens picking up where they bring Annabelle home after we see that in The Conjuring, after they visit the nurses' apartment. It happens a little while after that, so they bring it home and they're aware of the doll's evil, and sort of worry about her presence among the other artifacts. So before Conjuring 2, after [the beginning of] Conjuring.
Annabelle 3, which doesn't have an official title yet, is set to be the next Conjuring Universe movie that goes into production, and Gary Dauberman, who wrote the first two Annabelle spin-offs, will be making his directorial debut with the horror feature. Back in July during San Diego Comic-Con we learned that the film was going to take place in the Warren's artifact museum, but that didn't fully clear up when the movie would be set. Fortunately, Dauberman was happy to reveal that info during an interview last week.
The filmmaker spoke quite a bit about his vision for Annabelle 3, and even noted how his work on The Nun (which he also wrote) inspired his approach. While there has been a lot of talk about how the latest release is atmospherically different than any previous Conjuring Universe title, primarily thanks to the very different setting, the screenwriter found that the production experience in Romania had him very much missing home, which bled into his Annabelle 3 script. Said Dauberman,
It's really bringing Annabelle back home, and sort of the franchise to a degree after going... I was out there in Romania for a couple months making [The Nun], you know, you get homesick from being away from family, and that really kind of informed my creative direction for this movie. It's the artifact room; it's the Warren's house so it's sort of in suburbia... For me it's sort of bringing the franchise back home and then bringing in sort of the idea of a horror movie happening inside the Warren's house where there's this room in their basement that houses all these kinds of evil and horror. So we kind of have a lot of fun and a lot of scares with that.
Reading this description, you may rightfully now be asking yourself: does this mean that we can expect Vera Farmiga and Patrick Wilson's Lorraine and Ed Warren in Annabelle 3? I asked Gary Dauberman exactly that, and while he didn't take the possibility off the table, he also didn't mention whether or not it was something that was going to happen:
That is something I'm not going to confirm or deny. I guess we'll just have to wait and see, but just going off the story and all that stuff, it is inside their home.
Annabelle 3 is going into production next month in Los Angeles, and be sure to stay tuned here on CinemaBlend for all the latest updates.