'The Conjuring' horror franchise could expand with TV spin-offs on HBO Max

·Contributor
·4-min read

Watch: Trailer for The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It

After three main series films and five spin-off features, it seems the future of the Conjuring universe could include some small screen adventures.

Real-life paranormal investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren — played as always by Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga — are back for The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It, which focuses on the infamous Arne Johnson murder trial.

In 1981, Johnson killed his landlord several months after being present at an exorcism carried out by the Warrens, with demonic possession used as a defence in his subsequent trial.

Read more: Explaining the timeline of the Conjuring franchise

Peter Safran, who has been a producer on most of the Conjuring movies, revealed in a roundtable interview to promote the new film that a TV show is very much on the cards.

He said: "We've always wanted to make sure that we didn't dilute what we were doing in the movie space by having the same kind of thing available episodically. 

Producer Peter Safran says the 'Conjuring' franchise could spin off on to the small screen. (Kevin Winter/Getty Images)
Producer Peter Safran says the 'Conjuring' franchise could spin off on to the small screen. (Kevin Winter/Getty Images)

"But we've certainly talked about whether there are some more long-form stories that would be better told over eight episodes or eight hours as opposed to just a two-hour movie. 

"We've definitely explored it and are considering some. I think it becomes even more likely now that HBO Max exists because we can do it all in-house.

"I wouldn't be surprised if there was an episodic opportunity somewhere down the line, but it definitely would not be something that dilutes what we're doing with the mothership Conjuring universe with Patrick and Vera."

Read more: Lorraine Warren, inspiration for The Conjuring, passes away aged 92

Warner Bros' horror universe has continued to expand since The Conjuring brought the Warrens to the big screen in 2013, earning $319m (£224m) at the global box office.

The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It (Warner Bros.)
The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It (Warner Bros.)

Since then, there have been numerous spin-offs in addition to the two direct sequels, with three movies focused on terrifying doll Annabelle, as well as The Nun and The Curse of La Llorona.

Across the franchise as a whole, the Conjuring movies have earned almost $2bn (£1.4bn) globally — incredible success for an R-rated horror series.

Safran said that, despite the obvious franchise potential from day one, the intention of each movie has never been to simply facilitate the next one.

Vera Farmiga and Patrick Wilson return as the Warrens in horror sequel 'The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It'. (Ben Rothstein/Warner Bros)
Vera Farmiga and Patrick Wilson return as the Warrens in horror sequel 'The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It'. (Ben Rothstein/Warner Bros)

"From the get-go, it was always about making one, great movie," he said. 

"The first Conjuring movie, we knew there were a lot of case files to draw from down the line, but [director James Wan] was so focused on making the best supernatural thriller he could possibly make. That is our guiding principle with each of these movies.

Read more: Ranking the movies of the Conjuring universe

"There's a reason why [Wan] put the Annabelle pre-credits sequence in the first movie. It's a great case and we thought 'if it all works, wouldn't she be a fun one to spin off?', which obviously we did."

The case files of Lorraine and Ed Warren span decades of paranormal research, which the 'Conjuring' franchise could cover. (Ben Rothstein/Warner Bros)
The case files of Lorraine and Ed Warren span decades of paranormal research, which the 'Conjuring' franchise could cover. (Ben Rothstein/Warner Bros)

Safran added: "We certainly keep [sequels] in mind, but we truly focus on each movie. We've been able to give that personal attention to each film and make sure that it lives up to the audience's expectations."

As for the future of the big screen franchise, Safran believes there's plenty of mileage yet in the terrifying case files of the Warrens.

Read more: Annabelle Comes Home director reveals creepy on-set experience

He said: "Patrick and Vera are such unique actors and they portray Ed and Lorraine so beautifully that we'd love to keep making these movies with them. 

"Ed and Lorraine investigated cases for 50 years, so we have another 40 years with Patrick and Vera before we run out."

The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It is in UK cinemas from 28 May.

Watch: Artist reveals animatronic replica of Annabelle doll