James Wan Suggests The Conjuring 4 Might Wrap Up The Franchise

If there's something strange in your neighborhood, who ya gonna call? Well, most of the Gen Z Ghostbusters aren't old enough to have a driver's license just yet, so Ed and Lorraine Warren (Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga) will have to do in a pinch. The married paranormal investigators have been bustin' demons for a full 10 years as of 2023 (what even is time?), but may yet hang up their crosses after the currently developing "The Conjuring 4."

After teaming up with Leigh Whannell to create "Saw" and "Insidious," James Wan helped restore the haunted house horror sub-genre to its creaky and moaning glory with "The Conjuring." Much to everyone's surprise, the 2013 thriller wound up birthing one of the most lucrative shared universes not to involve superpowers (assuming Lorraine's clairvoyant abilities and Ed's uncanny Elvis impersonation don't count). Along with spinoffs centered on supernaturally possessed dolls, vengeful Latin-American spirits, and demons who get their fashion sense from Deborah Kerr, the franchise currently includes a pair of direct sequels inspired (in the loosest possible meaning of the word, natch) by some of the more infamous cases associated with the real-life Ed and Lorraine, like the Enfield poltergeist and the trial of Arne Cheyenne Johnson, aka the "Devil Made Me Do It" case.

Even after tackling the likes of the Amityville murders and the haunting of the Perron family farmhouse (on top of everything else), there are plenty of other incidents from the Warrens' case files that the mainline "Conjuring" films could dramatize. At the same time, the property is getting noticeably long in the tooth, so it's perhaps no surprise that Wan is hinting "The Conjuring 4" might serve as the Warrens' final outing on the silver screen.

The Conjuring 4-Ever

Starting in 2013, The Conjuring Universe maintained a breakneck speed, churning out seven films in six years. Its streak wasn't snapped until 2020 when Warner Bros. pushed "The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It" back a year for some random reason. (*Clears throat*) Anyway, James Wan, who directed the first two movies in the series before passing the reins to "The Curse of La Llorona" helmer Michael Chaves, has been making the rounds promoting the horror-thriller "M3GAN" when he offered Collider this tantalizing update on "The Conjuring 4:"

"Yeah, we are working on it right now. With the 'Conjuring' films, we are very precious about [them]. And so we kind of want to just take our time to make sure we get it right and to make sure the emotion of the Warren stories that we want to tell, and moving into, and potentially wrapping up, we just want to make sure that it's the right thing, the right story that we're telling."

Honestly, it might be time for the "Conjuring" films to call it a day. Even if you're willing to set aside the disturbing allegations made against the now-deceased real-life Warrens, The Conjuring Universe's conservative politics and fun but superficial scares have come to show their age in today's socially radical and inclusive horror landscape. Not to mention, the odds seem stacked against the franchise taking bigger risks going forward. Even Wan would probably have a hard time getting another "Malignant"-level wild swing greenlit under David Zaslav's current regime at Warner Bros. Discovery.

Lest we get ahead of ourselves, though, Wan downplayed the idea when pressed by Collider, stating, "We never know. You never know. We'll see." In the meantime, The Conjuring Universe will continue when "The Nun 2" arrives on September 8, 2023.