At a certain point, it was going to become difficult continuing to set each continual Annabelle film further into the past by way of prequel. And yet, Annabelle, a real-life Raggedy Ann doll turned demonic, grayscale nightmare in James Wan’s The Conjuring movies, is still a star and must therefore have her demands. Particularly when there is a franchise to build. Luckily screenwriter Gary Dauberman and executive producer James Wan were on hand at “Scare Diego,” the New Line Cinema horror hound-event on the eve of San Diego Comic-Con. And thanks to both, we now know Annabelle 3 will be moving closer to current events in the timeline… and it will be set in the notoriously “treasured” Warren Museum of allegedly possessed and haunted artifacts.
The news came at the end of a gloriously grim night that included new footage from It: Chapter 2, The Curse of La Llorona, and The Nun. With Wan and Dauberman both producing the latter two, they had plenty to celebrate, including how the audience cringed in The Nun’s cold open when a sister of the cloth snaps her own neck via rope while attempting to escape a demon, or how slowly creeped out the non-initiated became about the real Latin legend of Lalorona (a weeping ghost). And yet, the biggest news they saved for last: After working on the screenplays for both Annabelle films, The Nun, and each chapter of It, Dauberman is finally sitting in the director’s chair for Annabelle 3… and the evil doll is now coming for poor, sweet Judy, the adorable little Warren girl played by Sterling Jerins in both of Wan’s Conjuring movies.
Describing the malevolent effect Annabelle will have on all the other malicious artifacts in the Warrens’ museum/garage, Dauberman teased the audience by saying, “She really awakens evil within that room, and they set their sights on the Warrens’ 10-year-old daughter Judy.” Noticing some groans of sympathy for the poor child who already was quite tormented in the original Conjuring by that mean, mean doll, Dauberman promises things will probably work out for Judy. Maybe. If she keeps a level head.
However, Wan, ever the showman of what he increasingly describes as his own universe within the larger Conjuring umbrella, amusingly deadpanned, “Annabelle basically activates all the other haunted artifacts in that room. So it’s basically Night at the Museum with Annabelle!”
So there you have it, a 10-year-old’s only hope of surviving this might be to call on Ben Stiller. Now there is a crossover event. Especially as if Judy is only 10, this is still set in the 1970s.
As per Dauberman, Annabelle 3 will be out in summer 2019, but in the meantime, there is still the Nun to contend with in September…
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