From James Wan's attachment to its creepy inclusion of paranormal activity, rumors of The Curse of La Llorona's inclusion in the growing shared universe of The Conjuring movies persist. After the film's premiere at the South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, we now know for sure if the film is the latest spinoff to follow films like Annabelle and The Nun.
According to the review from Bloody Disgusting, The Curse of La Llorona is indeed a spinoff of The Conjuring. It's all confirmed thanks to the inclusion of actor Tony Amendola, reprising the role of Father Perez from the first Annabelle movie.
It's unclear if this was always planned to be a spinoff of The Conjuring, or if the producers found an opportunity to tie an original film to the franchise. The ties are confirmed at a point when Father Perez explains his experiences with a possessed doll, confirming that The Curse of La Llorona takes place after Annabelle.
Michael Chaves makes his feature-length directorial debut with The Curse of La Llorona, but he's taking the reigns of the main franchise in the future. It makes sense that Wan would help select Chaves to tackle The Conjuring 3 now, knowing that the director's first movie is helping flesh out the lore of the franchise.
“While working closely with Chaves on The Curse of La Llorona, I got to know him as a filmmaker,” Wan explained. “Chaves’ ability to bring emotion to a story, and his understanding of mood and scares make him a perfect fit to direct the next Conjuring film.”
Chaves praised Wan's influence on the franchise, thankful for the opportunity to get to tell the next chapter for Lorraine and Ed Warren's ghost-hunting adventures.
“I am a huge fan of the Conjuring films,” Chaves said. “The movies are the rare combination that deliver both tremendous heart and awesome scares. It is both a total thrill and absolute honor to be working with James and the gang at New Line again.”
At this point, it's unclear why New Line Cinema and Warner Bros. Pictures have been so coy about the connections to The Conjuring franchise. The horror films have been a hit at the box office and well received among fans. Perhaps the surprise will play off when the film finally hits the big screen.
The Curse of La Llorona premieres in theaters on April 19th.