It has been about four years since the release of James Wan’s The Conjuring 2, and while the series’ franchise has been very active in the time since, with releases including The Nun, two Annabelle titles, and The Curse of La Llorona, our anticipation has been building and building for the movie’s direct follow-up. Soon the wait will be over thanks to the forthcoming release of The Conjuring 3 a.k.a. The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It, but there is one slight hitch that has been kind of bugging us: we know very little about what to expect from the movie.
With the production playing things close to the vest, there hasn’t been a great deal of information about the film released to the public, and as a result there are a lot of questions about it that are currently unanswered. It’s with that in mind that we have put together this feature, presenting all of our biggest curiosities about The Conjuring 3 prior to its release later this fall:
Will The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It have the same feel as the previous Conjuring movies?
The Conjuring Universe has become one of the most successful active horror franchises in recent years, but there are two significant changes that are being made with The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It. For starters, there is the fact that it is mixing things up genre-wise and operating as a courtroom drama instead of a haunted house story, but there is also the fact that this will be the first title in the main series not directed by James Wan.
There are obviously a number of things that are remaining exactly the same, including having both Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga back in the lead roles, but the change in approach and behind-the-scenes personnel makes us wonder if The Conjuring 3 will feel like an entirely new creation compared to its predecessors. There are plenty of pros and cons either way, so it will be interesting to learn if the movie will be an entirely new experience, or still feel wholly like an extension of the pre-existing films.
How close will The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It follow the actual case it’s based on?
Part of the charm of the Conjuring films is the fact that they are loosely based on real cases investigated by Ed and Lorainne Warren, and part of the charm of The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It is the fact that it will be keeping that tradition alive while also exploring a new subgenre. Specifically, the film will be about the trial of Arne Cheyenne Johnson, who is best known for being the first defendant to argue their innocence on the basis of demonic possession.
It’s a rather wild case, with Johnson claiming that he was driven to kill his landlord because of a demon living in the body of David Glatzel, an 11-year-old neighbor, and it’s noteworthy that the production has acst actors to play the roles of real individuals in the case. What we don’t know is how far screenwriter David Leslie Johnson-McGoldrick will go as far as changing facts to create a more compelling narrative. For example, one can expect that The Conjuring 3 will make the defendant’s demon very real, and that fact could easily change the way things happened in the trial. And on that note...
Will the case conclusion in The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It sync up with reality?
In case it wasn't something you knew about/already guessed, the "Devil Made Me Do It" argument didn't wind up working for Arne Cheynne Johnson, and he was ultimately found guilty – sentenced to 10-20 years in prison (though he only ended up serving five). But will that conclusion be directly adapted into The Conjuring 3? The movie has some interesting options, and it will be interesting to see which path it winds up taking.
Going back to what was said above, we can probably assume that Ed and Lorraine Warren will discover real evidence of Arne Cheyenne Johnson being influenced by an actual demon… but how will that wind up affecting the procedure of the case? Could the Warrens actually find a way to provide the evidence needed and get Johnson acquitted? Will it go for a bummer ending and suggest that Johnson is innocent, but imprisoned anyway? Or could it go a totally different route and have this be a case where the Warrens are fooled, the demon argument being proven to be totally phony? There are a lot of fun potential paths to take, and it makes us all the more excited for The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It.
Will there be a timeline jump in The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It?
The movies of the Conjuring Universe have explored a few different decades thus far, with The Nun going as far back as 1952, but The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It potentially offers the franchise to leap into a new era: the 1980s. The trial of Arne Cheyenne Johnson took place in late 1981, and would technically fit with the timeline that currently exists in the series. The question, though, is if the storytelling is really going to pull off a four year time jump for the sake of real-world accuracy.
The events that take place in The Conjuring 2 unfold in 1977, so having The Conjuring 3 set in 1981 means that there would be a potentially big gap made in the big screen stories of Ed and Lorainne Warren – and that has certain positives and negatives. On the plus side, it means there will be space for possible spin-offs to take place (more on that in a minute), and the movie could provide simple exposition explaining what the demonologist couple was up to. On the other hand, though, it would skip what could be valuable time in the lives of the Warrens.
How far will The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It lean into the courtroom drama genre?
Back in 2017, Conjuring Universe producer Peter Safran acknowledged that the franchise couldn’t continue simply subsisting on haunted house stories, and promised that The Conjuring 3 would pursue a different path. This led to the announcement in late 2019 that the film would be titled The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It, and the revelation that the movie would be bringing its particular brand of terror into a courtroom.
But exactly how far will it go in terms of operating as a courtroom drama? Will most of the action feature witnesses taking the stand in front of a judge and jury, with occasional flashbacks filling in details? Or will it be more about the experience that Ed and Lorainne Warren have being part of a criminal case? Those kinds of details have not yet been revealed about the production, and we highly anticipate a debut trailer for the film clearing things up a bit.
Will there be room made for potential spin-offs in The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It?
With the exception of The Curse of La Llorona, the Conjuring Universe has primarily expanded via spin-offs based on elements from the main Conjuring films – with the Annabelle trilogy sprouting from the introduction of the titular doll in the original Conjuring, and The Nun being based on the central antagonist of The Conjuring 2. It’s very possible that The Conjuring 3 will wind up serving a similar function within the franchise, but that’s something that we won’t know about until people have seen the finished film and respond to the best of what it has to offer.
Popular demand for more of a certain part of The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It will ultimately determine whether or not the feature winds up inspiring any spin-offs – but we do find ourselves wondering if the production is purposefully including any elements into the project with the future in mind. It could very well be that the filmmakers have an excellent idea for a new in-universe story and will use the upcoming sequel to introduce it... but we won’t know for sure until we actually see the movie.
Will The Conjuring 3’s story dovetail with the past Conjuring Universe movies?
The whole point of having a franchise that introduces an interconnected universe is actually showing off those interconnections – and that’s something that the Conjuring titles have done exceptionally well. Obviously the fact that most of the movies are spin-offs contributes greatly to this, but the films also have a tendency to go the extra mile – be it by featuring The Nun a.k.a. Valek in Annabelle Creation, or having The Nun feature a character that was originally seen in a video at the start of the first Conjuring.
But will The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It contribute to that aspect of the franchise? Is it possible that the demon delivering orders to Arne Cheyenne Johnson will be one that the Warrens have encountered before? Could a key witness wind up being revealed as a character from one of the Annabelle movies? The film could wind up just aiming to tell its own story, with future releases executing more of the dovetailing, but only time will tell.
What are your biggest questions about The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It? Do your curiosities go beyond those mentioned above? Hit the comments section with your expectations for the horror movie, and look for it in theaters on September 11th.