How The Nun Will Build On The Conjuring Universe
The nun, Valak, serves as a way to connect the Conjuring Universe.
It's not easy to build a working connected film universe the way director James Wan and his growing squad of talented horror creatives are doing around The Conjuring. But so far, they've done a terrifyingly good job, with two films in the main Conjuring series and two Annabelle movies since 2013. Next up is 2018's The Nun, which writer and Executive Producer Gary Dauberman told GameSpot will "build off" the story established for the habit-wearing demon in The Conjuring 2.
Dauberman's next task is taking on the ghostly, demonic nun, which became one of the most intriguing and horrifying parts of The Conjuring 2. While promoting the upcoming Stephen King adaptation It, which Dauberman co-wrote, the horror maverick discussed what we can expect in The Nun: "We build off what we established in The Conjuring 2," Dauberman told GameSpot during a group interview in Los Angeles. "Working with James is just--It's sort of an embarrassment of riches."
The upcoming movie follows a priest, played by Demian Bichir (Alien: Covenant), who goes to Rome to investigate the death of a nun, which happened under mysterious circumstances. In Conjuring 2, the Warrens dealt with a demon named Valak, which took the form of a ghostly nun, which was some incredibly shocking imagery.
Valak, which is a demon that originates in 17th century lore, took the form of a nun for the movies because of a conversation between James Wan and the real-life Lorraine Warren, according to Week In Weird. It was something Warren claimed to see in a vortex once, which has no connection to the Amityville or Enfield cases the first two Conjuring movies are based on.
Valak serves as a way to connect both Conjuring movies, and the entirety of the Conjuring Universe. The nun even makes an appearance in this past summer's Annabelle: Creation, to solidify it as a major part of the universe. Dauberman gets the task of fleshing out this character who has becoming increasingly important to the franchise.
He is joined once again by James Wan, serving as producer, and director Corin Hardy (The Hallow): "I get to lean on James, and the guy is so generous with his talent that I'm just so happy to benefit from it," explains Dauberman. "You throw a guy like Corin Hardy into the mix, who's got his own ideas and sensibilities and stuff and his talent, and it becomes such a unique and thrilling experience."
"Most everything I've learned in terms of making scary movies and stuff, I started working early on with James [Wan], and he sort of really laid out sort of his scary sequences are like action set pieces," explained Dauberman. "He doesn't like a lot of stings, a lot of jump scares. He likes to build up and set up and pay off, and it's like a drum roll. And I try to incorporate that into everything I do."
Wan's work through the Conjuring and Insidious series have helped usher in a new renaissance in horror, utilizing elements from the genre's past and combining it with a modern-day pacing, creating something unique and yet incredibly familiar.
Dauberman also served as executive producer on the movie and spent some time on location during the shoot: "I was there from April to the end of June, in Romania, in castles, in Transylvania, and stuff. Just as a horror fan, you're like, 'Oh my god, I never…' I'm 40 years old. I never thought I'd be able to do that. And that was something I'll never forget."
What drives the writer is his love of horror: "The experience I get when sitting in the back of a theater, watching people, I think it's like comedy," Dauberman told GameSpot. "You get to hear people laugh and horror, you get to hear people gasp or when they start to nervously talk to one another. That's just the best feeling. So that becomes addicting."
The Nun is slated to hit theaters sometime in 2018, and it will be followed by yet another spinoff, The Crooked Man, which does not have a release date at this time.