Filmmaker James Wan is returning to the horror genre. While the director behind Saw and Insidious hit a high mark with last year’s terrific The Conjuring, he subsequently opted to try his talents outside the horror genre by taking over the Fast & Furious franchise. Fast & Furious 7 proved to be an incredibly tough shoot due to Paul Walker’s unfortunate passing in the middle of production, with Wan recently telling us it was both the hardest film he’s ever made and the one he’s most proud of. Thanks to the massive commercial (and critical) success of The Conjuring, Warner Bros. set the wheels in motion for a sequel. The film was initially slated to open next Halloween, but it was unclear if Wan would be returning to the director’s chair or if he would continue to focus his talents on other genres.
Last night Warner Bros. announced that it was pushing the release of The Conjuring 2 to 2016, and now it appears we have a reason for the release date shift: Wan is, in fact, returning to direct. Hit the jump for more, including Wan’s future with the Fast & Furious franchise.
Per Deadline, James Wan has signed on to direct The Conjuring 2 for New Line Cinema as part of an overall deal with the studio through which Wan will produce and direct films across all genres. Apparently Universal has options on Wan to helm future installments of the Fast & Furious series, but they have allowed him to tackle The Conjuring sequel as his next project. No decision has been made as to Wan’s involvement in further Fast & Furious sequels just yet.
The story of The Conjuring 2 will follow the next case file of the real-life supernatural investigator husband and wife team of Ed and Lorrain Warren, played by Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga. I’m not incredibly well-versed in the horror genre, but I thought The Conjuring was a fantastic film and I very much look forward to seeing what Wan brings to the follow-up.
In addition to directing The Conjuring 2, though, some have pointed out that Wan’s production deal with New Line Cinema could see him directing one of Warner Bros.’s DC Comics movies. Since Shazam is the only one that is a co-production between WB and New Line, and since it stars Wan’s Fast & Furious co-star Dwayne Johnson, I would not at all be surprised to learn sometime soon that James Wan will be directing the Shazam movie.