Ever since The Conjuring became the breakout horror hit of last summer, Warner Bros. and New Line Cinema have been busy figuring out how to build that deliciously scary flick into a bona fide franchise, ordering a direct sequel and a spinoff centered on the incredibly creepy, scene-stealing Annabelle doll. Fans of The Conjuring will remember that the doll in question first menaced female college students, then Lorraine and Ed Warren’s (Vera Farmiga and Patrick Wilson) young daughter. Now, it will be terrifying a new set of unfortunate individuals sooner than we anticipated, with news that Annabelle has been set for release this October.
John R. Leonetti, the cinematographer on The Conjuring, is directing Annabelle from a script written by Gary Dauberman (who has previously done uncredited rewrites on films in two of New Line’s biggest horror franchises: Final Destination 5 and A Nightmare on Elm Street). The connection to The Conjuring appears to simply be that the Annabelle doll is its focus – the film is neither a sequel nor a prequel, and none of the actors from The Conjuring will appear. Instead, Annabelle Wallis (Showtime’s The Tudors) and Ward Horton (ABC’s soap One Life to Live) will be starring in the film alongside Alfre Woodard (12 Years a Slave).
The Conjuring director James Wan and producer Peter Safran are both on board as producers on Annabelle. The film will likely have a rough time at the box office when it arrives in October – it’s going up against David Fincher’s Gone Girl adaptation, the creepy second trailer for which debuted today. Either Warner Bros. and New Line are seriously underestimating Gone Girl, or they’re extremely confident that horror fans will prefer a haunted doll over a missing, possibly murdered wife.
Annabelle arrives on October 3rd this year.