James Wan had already helped create two of modern horror’s most successful franchises–Saw and Insidious–when he directed 2013’s supernatural shocker The Conjuring. But amazingly, this proved to be even more popular than any of Wan’s previous horror movies. The film made $319 million at the worldwide box office from a reported production budget of just $20 million, and the Conjuring cinematic universe was born.
The subsequent movies focused on a variety of scary antagonists–from the terrifying doll Annabelle to the demonic nun Valak–but it was Ed and Lorraine Warren that were at the heart of many of these stories. This real-life pair of paranormal investigators took on thousands of cases of hauntings and possessions throughout the ’70s and ’80s, wrote a number of popular books, and were best known for leading the investigation into the famous 1979 Amityville Horror. In other words, they’re the perfect people to be fictionalized and become the heroes of a series of horror movies.
The Warrens are played by Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga, and the two actors returned for 2016’s The Conjuring 2, which was also directed by Wan, and 2019’s Annabelle movie Annabelle Comes Home. In 2019, it was confirmed that the pair would return for the third Conjuring movie, titled The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It. Like virtually all big movies in 2020, its release date was pushed back, and it’ll now be with us next summer. So here’s everything we know so far about the next movie in the Conjuring series.
What’s the release date?
The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It is set for a June 4 release, having moved from the initial date of September 2020. As with all of Warner’s big movies next year, it will stream on HBO Max for a month as well as in theaters.
Who’s the director?
The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It is directed by Michael Chaves. This will be Chaves’ second movie in the Conjuring universe, following 2019’s The Curse of La Llorona.
Who’s the writer?
The script has been written by David Leslie Johnson-McGoldrick. He has collaborated with Wan twice in the past, on The Conjuring 2 and Aquaman, and will also co-write Wan’s upcoming Aquaman 2 too. Johnson-McGoldrick was also a writer and consulting producer on The Walking Dead.
What’s the story?
Like The Conjuring 2, The Devil Made Me Do It is based on an unusual case that the Warrens investigated in real life. In 1981, Ed and Lorraine were hired by Carl and Judy Gretzel, whose 11-year-old son David was seemingly possessed by a demon. The Warrens performed an exorcism over several days, after which the demon supposedly left David’s body. Five months later, a 19-year-old man named Arne Cheyenne Johnson, who was the boyfriend of David’s sister Debbie, murdered his landlord. The defence at his trial attempted to argue that he was possessed by the same demon, which had taken up residence in Arne after leaving David. The case was the first ever in the US in which demonic possession was used as a defence, and it attracted media attention across the world. The story has been used as the basis for several documentaries and films over the years, including the made-for-TV movie The Demon Murder Case and the Discovery Channel’s A Haunting.
Vera Farmiga and Patrick Wilson will reprise their roles as Lorraine and Ed Warren. The role of Arne Cheyenne Johnson will be played by Ruairi O’Connor, who is best known for playing Ty Fitzgerald in the Apple TV show The Morning Show. As for the Gretzel family, Julian Hilliard (The Haunting of Hill House) plays David, with Sarah Catherine Hook (Monsterland) as Debbie, Charlene Amoia (Birds of Prey) as Judy, and Paul Wilson (The Right Stuff) as Carl.
Is there a trailer?
We’ve yet to see a trailer or clips from the movie. However, in October, Universal released a lengthy featurette about the entire Conjuring series, that included behind-the-scenes footage of The Devil Made Me Do It’s production. Hopefully we’ll get a proper trailer soon.
What else do we know about it?
In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter last year, Wilson revealed that the movie will have “a much different feel” to its predecessors. “The process [of making Conjuring 3] was fantastic, and it’s a much different feel,” he said. “It’s still the same bones; it’s still very much Ed and Lorraine. Again, we are pushing our characters to places they haven’t gone, but the film will be a really nice addition because it’s definitely a different beast. Pun intended.”
Will there be more Conjuring movies?
It’s very unlikely that this will be the final movie in the Conjuring universe. While further movies have not been officially announced yet, a film based on the Crooked Man, who previously appeared in The Conjuring 2, has been in development for a couple of years. In addition, a sequel to 2018’s The Nun is in the works, with Akela Cooper–who has also written Wan’s upcoming horror movie Malignant–writing the screenplay. As for a fourth Conjuring movie, Wan has spoken about the fact there are so many of the Warrens’ stories that could be adapted, so it seems very possible.
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