With the continuing success of The Conjuring spin-off Annabelle, released earlier this month, it seemed only a matter of time before New Line Cinema announced that original director James Wan would be returning for The Conjuring 2. Wan was responsible for directing The Conjuring for New Line in 2013, which of course became a huge success for the studio.
Deadline is reporting that Wan’s contract with New Line is a two-part deal, which would see him have a first-look producing deal with the studio as well as the Conjuring 2 directing gig. That makes Wan the only filmmaker that New Line has a first-look deal with. Through the agreement, Wan would continue to develop medium-budget sci-fi, horror, and comedy projects for the company through his Atomic Monster production banner.
For New Line, the hope is that Wan can be something of a golden goose for the company. The filmmaker, known for turning low-budget horror films into major global successes, is responsible for launching the Saw franchise, the Insidious franchise, and now the similarly successful universe of The Conjuring. Wan is also currently in post-production on Fast & Furious 7, which is scheduled for release next year.
The Conjuring 2 was originally slated to be released on October 23rd, 2015, but that date has been pushed back to 2016, giving Wan the opportunity to focus on promotion for Fast & Furious 7 next year. New Line has placed an untitled horror film in place of the original release date for The Conjuring 2.
Wan will begin production on The Conjuring 2 for New Line Cinema next summer.