Annabelle 3 writer-director Gary Dauberman has offered a status update on the newest entry in the Conjuring spinoff series weeks before it scares its way in front of cameras.
"That's going to go before cameras mid-October so I'm deep in prep on that now," Dauberman told Slash Film.
The first-time director, who also scripted the just-released The Nun — itself a spinoff of the James Wan-directed The Conjuring 2 — said the next Annabelle brings "the franchise back home after being so far away in Romania" in The Nun.
"It's set in the Warrens' house," Dauberman said of the paranormal investigator couple, Ed and Lorraine Warren, played in both Conjuring films by Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga, respectively.
The new film will explore what happens when demonically-possessed doll Annabelle comes into the hands-off artifact room maintained by the Warrens, a treasure trove of haunted, cursed, or otherwise tainted possessions.
Dauberman compared the doll's effects on the room to the titular character of the upcoming DC Universe original series Swamp Thing, also penned by Dauberman, which deals with the affect people living swamps have on their environment and the swamp-dwelling creatures within.
"It's what happens when Annabelle comes into the artifact room. Much like Swamp Thing, what happens when Annabelle comes into the artifact room and how she affects her environment," Dauberman said.
That room contains the evil doll as its "the place where it can really no longer wreak havoc," Dauberman said during San Diego Comic-Con, "but, of course, it turns out she can also wreak havoc there."
Annabelle then "really awakens the evil within that room and [the evil targets] the Warrens' 10-year-old daughter, Judy," he said of the girl, previously played in both Conjuring films by now 14-year-old actress Sterling Jerins.
Wan, again acting as producer, said at Comic-Con the doll "basically activates all the other haunted artifacts in that room, so it's basically Night at the Museum, with Annabelle!"
Asked by Slash Film if the Warrens will appear in the currently untitled Annabelle sequel, Dauberman said only, "That is a great question and we'll have to wait and see."
The Nun is now playing. Annabelle 3 is being prepped for a July 3, 2019 release.