It’s a good time to be James Wan. The talented multi-hyphenate did such a tremendous job with Furious 7 last summer that DC gave him his choice of directing either Aquaman or The Flash. He took Aquaman, all but ensuring that Aquaman will be the best of this wave of DC films, while Rick Famuyiwa taking on The Flash with Ezra Miller as Barry Allen. And that’s just the header, mind you. He also directed one of the most profitable films of the summer with The Conjuring 2 and produced recent sleeper hit Lights Out, from Swedish director David F. Sandberg. He’s also set to produce a remake of Mortal Kombat, Insidious: Chapter 4, Annabelle 2, and the reboot of the Saw franchise that he originated, titled Saw: Legacy.
And now you can add one more sequel to that line of producer gigs: Lights Out 2. As Deadline reports, New Line saw the high return-on-investment percentage of Lights Out and has quickly ordered a sequel with much of the same creative team behind the film returning for the sequel. Sandberg is back with wife-producer Lotta Losten, while Wan is back as producer and Eric Heisserer is already set to pen the sequel. No word has arrived as of yet concerning the return of any cast members, Teresa Palmer being the most notable at this point, but I would assume we’ll be hearing about that soon enough.
Sandberg developed the original film as a short and after having zero luck with the Swedish film industry, brought Lights Out to the states where Wan took up his cause. Wan has a way of making scrappy, highly entertaining horror movies, only to then run them into the ground with sequels that offer only a modicum of the original film’s thrills. This is as true of Insidious and Saw as it is of The Conjuring; for whatever its box office take, The Conjuring 2 is about as memorable and hair-raising as an episode of Antiques Roadshow. One must hold out hope that Lights Out 2 will prove to be the exception with Sandberg returning, but the track record here is grim to say the least.