The universe that stemmed from The Conjuring movies is expanding yet again. This fall, the newest film in the franchise is releasing, The Nun II.
As the ninth film in The Conjuring universe, the movie will continue the story from 2018’s The Nun, which is the most financially successful movie in the franchise to date.
Here’s what we know about the upcoming sequel and how it ties into the overall franchise.
The Conjuring Universe Expands With The Nun II
James Wan, who is a producer on The Nun II, had teased a possible sequel to the 2018 film for quite a while. Wan had served as a producer and a writer on the original movie. However, it wasn’t until 2019 that fans had confirmation that a sequel was in the works when Peter Safran, also a producer on the film, confirmed the project was in the early stages of development.
Akela Cooper was initially tapped to write the script in 2019. And Richard Naing and Ian Goldberg joined as contributors in the final draft. Michael Chaves, who directs the film, is no stranger to the franchise either. Chaves has directed two films in The Conjuring Universe, The Curse of La Llorona in 2019 and The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It in 2021.
Filming took place in France in October 2022 and wrapped last year as well.
The Nun II Cast
In February 2022, Taissa Farmiga, who plays Sister Irene, revealed that she was having discussions with Warner Bros. to reprise her role in the upcoming sequel. Farmiga added at the time that the current COVID-19 restrictions delayed production of the film.
By April 2022, Warner Bros. Pictures announced during CinemaCon that The Nun II is part of the studio’s upcoming slate of movies. The same month, Wan confirmed that Bonnie Aarons would reprise her role as the demon Valak.
In an interview with Comingsoon.net, Aarons said she hoped The Nun II would further explore the “depth of the demon.”
“I have to see what they wrote, you know, I hope it explores more of the depth of the demon. I think the demon came from the bowels of hell. We’ll see whatever it is.” Aarons confessed.
Storm Reid Joins The Nun II
Storm Reid was cast in the upcoming project as another nun-in-training in September 2022. Cooper revealed that the film was working to increase representation in the form of Reid’s casting as one of the leads in the sequel. Reid also talked about getting cast for the movie with Collider.
“I am not a big horror film person, so I was really apprehensive reading the script. I was like, ‘If this is not how I move through the world; if this character doesn’t align with who I am as a person, I’m not doing it. By my surprise, the character I play is incredible. I think she really adds some funkiness to the story,” said Reid.
By October 2022, Farmiga and Jonas Bloquet, who plays Frenchie, were confirmed to reprise their roles. Anna Popplewell and Katelyn Rose Downey were also added to the cast in October. Popplewell plays Marcella, a new character in The Conjuring Universe, who is a widowed schoolteacher at the St. Mary’s School in France.
Downey plays Sophie, Marcella’s daughter.
The Nun II Storyline
The storyline for The Nun II takes place four years after the events of the first Nun movie. The official description of the sequel was also released giving fans an idea of what to expect for The Nun II.
“1956 – France. A priest is murdered. An evil is spreading. The sequel to the worldwide smash hit follows Sister Irene as she once again comes face-to-face with Valak, the demon nun.”
Wan has also teased what fans can expect to happen with Frenchie in The Nun II. “Frenchie has moved on from the first film and now he is at a Catholic school as a groundskeeper-handyman,” said the producer.
Wan also went on to talked about the friendship between Frenchie and Sister Irene.
“I love this platonic friendship that the two of them have. She cares very much for him, and wants to do everything she can to help him,” said Wan.
This might mean The Nun II would see Sister Irene face a dilemma between her relationship with Frenchie and knowing that she has to fight the evil that has possessed him.
The Nun II Release Date
The Nun II is premiering in theaters on September 8, 2023, ahead of the spooky Halloween season. Warner Bros. released the movie’s official trailer on July 6 and later released another on August 7.
Back in 2019, Safran told EW about a possible sequel to The Nun, as well as a potential third movie.
The Conjuring Universe
The Nun character first appeared on The Conjuring 2 in 2016, haunting Lorraine and Ed Warren, played by Vera Farmiga and Patrick Wilson. The Nun took place 25 years before the events of The Conjuring 2, and the demonic nun also made a cameo in Annabelle: Creation in 2017. All of the films in the franchise take place between 1952-1981.
The Conjuring films follow the Warrens as they investigate demonic hauntings based on supposed true events. In the first film, the Warrens investigate a witch’s curse in a farmhouse in Harrisville, Rhode Island. The second film followed the Warrens investigating the Enfield Poltergeist that took place in London in 1977. The third installment centers on the infamous “Devil Made Me Do It” case in 1981.
The spinoffs explore the origins of some of the entities that the Warrens have faced. In the first Annabelle movie, the doll of an expecting couple gets possessed when two devil worshippers are killed in their home.
The second Annabelle movie focused on a dollmaker and his wife opening their home to a nun and some girls from a closed orphanage. The third installment focused on the haunted doll being placed in an exhibit of the Warrens’ museum.
The Conjuring Universe Box Office Earnings
The Conjuring Universe is the highest-grossing horror franchise so far. It’s amassed more than $2 billion from all the films in the franchise, eight to date. Once The Nun II releases, the franchise will have 9 films.
The Conjuring in 2013 garnered $319.4 million worldwide from a budget of $20 million. Next was2016’s The Conjuring 2, which made $320.3 million at the global box office from a budget of $40 million. And 2021’s third sequel, The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It, made $206 million worldwide from a budget of $39 million.
In 2014, Annabelle garnered $257 million from a budget of just $6.5 million. And the second film, 2017’s Annabelle: Creation was even more successful, making $306.5 million globally against a $15 million budget. The third installment, Annabelle Comes Home, in 2019, made $231 million worldwide against a $30 million budget. (Not to mention, this one had some pretty creative promotional campaigns around its release.)
The Curse of La Llorona in 2019 grossed $123 million from a $9 million budget. And then, there was The Nun in 2018, which grossed $365.5 million from a $22 million budget. The Nun‘s global box office earnings make it the most profitable film in the franchise to date.
How will The Nun II hold up? We’ll have to wait and see!