Lights Out Director David Sandberg Will Helm Horror Sequel Annabelle 2

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Less than a day has passed since Warner Bros. slotted Annabelle 2 into a prime May 19, 2017 release window and already, the studio has narrowed in on a director to take the reins.

According to Bloody Disgusting, that task has fallen on the lap of Lights Out helmer David Sandberg – not to be confused with the Kung Fury director of the same name – with Peter Safran and James Wan attached to produce.

Released in 2014, Annabelle proved to be a low-budget, high-profit success, pulling in an impressive $250 million worldwide off the back of a $6.5 million production budget. Annabelle Wallis, Ward Horton and Alfre Woodard were among the cast of the 2014 sleeper hit, though there’s no mention of the actors that will feature in next year’s follow-up.

Designed as a prequel and spinoff to The Conjuring – which has its own sequel, The Enfield Poltergeist, releasing later in 2016 – Annabelle is based on the titular haunted doll, forcing a decidedly younger Ed and Lorraine Warren into action. At this stage in the game, plot details for its sequel are practically non-existent, but we’ll keep you updated as more information creeps from the shadows.

Lights Out, meanwhile, is a supernatural short and Sandberg’s directorial debut. First released in 2013, the supernatural horror caught the eye of New Line and James Wan’s Atomic Monster, and a full-fledged feature is now on course to hit theaters in July of this year.

Offering a cinematic experience from the complete opposite end of the spectrum, Annabelle 2 will launch opposite Paramount’s Baywatch reboot come May 19. Can David Sandberg’s possess the lion’s share of the box office? Time will tell.