After The Curse of La Llorona had its world premiere at SXSW earlier this year, audiences discovered that the James Wan-produced film is part of the connected horror universe of the Conjuring franchise. Get ready, Warren family: As if an evil doll, a demon nun and a crooked man (remember him?) weren’t enough, there is another ghost coming your way.
The film centers on a social worker named Anna (Linda Cardellini) in 1970s Los Angeles who accidentally sets loose an evil entity known as La Llorona, the ghost of a woman who drowned her own kids before taking her own life, now doomed to roam the Earth looking for children to take with her to the afterlife. Anna battles the Latin American folktale villain, who is after her own children.
In a previous article, we teased what the connection between this film and the larger Conjuring universe was, and how it all involved the character of Father Perez, who was first introduced in the film Annabelle. When GameSpot met with the cast and filmmakers behind The Curse of La Llorona following the film’s world premiere at SXSW, we got the chance to speak with director Michael Chaves about the early discussions of that Father Perez cameo, and most importantly, what other cameos were discussed.
He revealed there is actually a deleted scene that would have taken place at the very end of the movie. Chaves told us it will most likely be on the Blu-ray home release. That's definitely good news, since it may impact the rest of the Conjuring universe.
Major Spoilers for The Curse of La Llorona Below.
When Father Perez shows up in The Curse of La Llorona, his main purpose is to give some exposition to Linda Cardellini’s character by explaining the folktale of The Weeping Woman. But when things get dangerous, he realizes the church would take too long to act appropriately, so he refers Anna to a curandero named Rafael (Raymond Cruz). But before he mentions Rafael, Perez reflects via flashback on the last time he tried to get the church to help on a supernatural case--a familiar setting in Pasadena in the ‘60s--and we get a brief shot of the evil Annabelle doll.
This is the last we see of Perez, and from there on the film continues very seemingly self-contained. At the end, Anna keeps a memento: a necklace that belonged to the Weeping Woman before she turned into a ghost. But according to director Michael Chaves, this was not always the case.
“There was a lot of discussion about it,” Chavez told GameSpot. “Father Perez does make a reference to other people who work for the church. There is actually a scene that was going to be at the end of the movie where at the very end of the film we shot Linda’s character [Anna], who hands over the necklace to Raymond [who plays Rafael the curandero], you know, for safekeeping. And Raymond says that he knows someone who can keep it safe and that they’re on the East Coast and they handle this sort of thing.”
In case we need to spell it out: He would have been referring to the Warrens.
Raymond Cruz reacted quickly to this line of thought, exclaiming, “I forgot about that--this sounds great!” And we have to agree--this sounds like a great end-credits scene to tease the future of the franchise. Why they didn’t place it after the credits, we don’t know. But Chaves gave us an explanation for why this scene isn’t in the movie.
“The scene was really cool and I think everybody really liked it,” Chaves said. “But we felt like it was too heavy-handed, like just trying to lay in all these connections to [The Conjuring]. We definitely had a lot of fun with it, everyone involved, we are all fans of the Conjuring universe, and of course we had James Wan as a producer. We were just like kids in a candy store trying to make all these connections.”
So, the scene didn’t make it to the theatrical cut of The Curse of La Llorona, but does this mean they’re fully scrapping the plotline?
The next movie in the Conjuring franchise is the third Annabelle, officially titled Annabelle Comes Home (click here to find out what we learned visiting the movie's set). It's written and directed by Gary Dauberman, who also wrote the previous two Annabelle movies and The Nun, and produced The Curse of La Llorona. At an event during San Diego Comic-Con last year, James Wan and Gary Dauberman said that the film will see the evil doll Annabelle awakening every evil thing in the Warrens' artifact room before setting its eyes on their 10-year-old daughter Judy. It was described as “Night at the Museum with Annabelle,” in reference to the Ben Stiller family films where inanimate objects come alive every night after the museum closes its doors.
What does this mean for La Llorona? Well, according to that deleted scene, the necklace belonging to The Weeping Woman was on its way to the Artifacts Room at some point in the ‘70s. It is unclear whether we'll ever see that deleted scene for certain, but if it's taken as a part of the overall story, then Annabelle Comes Home could see the evil doll activate the necklace in the Warrens' home, adding another evil to the havoc in Connecticut.
The Curse of La Llorona is in theaters now, and Annabelle Comes Home hits theaters June 28.