James Wan returns to horror before Aquaman 2

James Wan is at an interesting place in his career. While he proved his action movie credentials several years ago with the stressful production of Fast & Furious 7, it was last year that he managed to successfully launch a new superhero franchise with a wild premise and little in the way of a popular shared universe to fall back on. Nevertheless, Aquaman was gonzo, bubblegum fun that grossed about $1.2 billion at the box office. So, in theory, he could do anything he wanted to next. Which makes news that he’s returning to horror so intriguing.

The revelation came out of a rather cryptic announcement than Wan is locked in to direct a currently untitled horror movie set up at Warner’s New Line Cinema before he begins production on Aquaman 2. While details on the project are exceedingly scarce, Variety reports that he’ll be working from a screenplay he’s co-writing with Ingrid Bisu (one of the co-stars of The Nun). He is also producing the film alongside Michael Clear via his Atomic Monster production label.

The fact he’d return to horror is not entirely surprising given that the director of Saw, Insidious, and The Conjuring is widely considered a master of the genre. What is intriguing though is he’s chosen to do it on a new and potentially original project. Notably after directing both The Conjuring and The Conjuring 2 – while waiting three years to get the second one right (a long period for horror) – he has stepped away from directing that franchise.

The Conjuring 3 is scheduled to begin production later this year and has Michael Chaves (The Curse Of La Llorona) attached to direct. So Wan choosing to use his time between Aquaman films (with Aquaman 2 taking a hefty four-year break until December 2022 on its own) on horror, but not The Conjuring, is intriguing.

Apparently, he has a personal story to tell, and given the last movie he has a screenwriting credit on is the genuinely affecting Conjuring 2, that’s a good sign this will be closer to those mainline films than the Annabelle movies, which Wan was only producer on. Indeed, it’s through New Line he’s produced all of The Conjuring movies and their twisted timeline. So maybe this will be connected, after all?

We’ll have more spine-tingling news soon, to be sure.


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