New Line officially announced today that the title for the spin-off movie of their hit horror movie from last year, The Conjuring, will be Annabelle. The title of course refers to the demonic doll, pictured above, that played a key role in The Conjuring’s storyline. The new movie, which has already completed filming, will be released this October 3rd. This is in addition to the official sequel, The Conjuring 2, which is set to be released next year on October 23rd.
The original movie starred Patrick Wilson (the upcoming Ant-Man, Insidious) and Vera Farmiga (The Departed) as real-life paranormal investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren, who were called in to help a family with a demonic presence in their farmhouse. Released last July, it became one of the surprise hits of the summer, grossing over $130 million at the U.S. box office. A sequel was inevitable, and while studios often wait for a franchise to start running out of steam before they start making spin-offs, New Line has sped up the process here, perhaps hoping to create two different franchises at the same time.
Annabelle was produced on a much smaller budget, and features a typically lesser-known cast. The lead, in a rather spooky coincidence, will be played by Annabelle Wallis (TV’s Peaky Blinders), with Alfre Woodard (12 Years a Slave) and Eric Ladin (TV’s The Killing) also starring. The original movie’s director of photography, John R. Leonetti, will take over directing duties this time around for his first feature directing job since 2006’s The Butterfly Effect 2. The original’s director James Wan (the upcoming Fast & Furious 7, both Insidious movies) will act as a producer this time around.