The highly anticipated horror film The Nun arrives on September 7, 2018. Despite a few delays and only a teaser for a full-length trailer existing, fans and media alike have pieced together facts about the story and production of The Conjuring series' fifth installment.
Since it began in 2013, the Conjuring franchise has created its own unique horror universe, with Easter eggs aplenty. While much speculation remains over plot details, many facts about The Nun have been verified - leaving fans eager to learn more.
Technically a follow-up to The Conjuring 2 from 2016, The Nun takes place in 1952 Romania, according to distribution studio Warner Bros. The story reportedly begins with a nun's mysterious suicide at the Cârța Monastery; the Vatican promptly sends a sister about to take her final vows and a priest to investigate.
With Corin Hardy directing and American Horror Story's Taissa Farmiga playing the protagonist, The Nun promises to deliver an abundance of surprises and to send viewers even further into the darkness of the Conjuring universe.
With 2018's The Nun, the Conjuring series transcends the franchise model and jumps on the "shared universe" train, similar to Marvel's Cinematic Universe, but unique in the world of horror films. While each movie's story varies, all Conjuring films relate to supernatural investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren, based on the real-life duo.
Variety claims The Conjuring 2 is based on the story of a demonically possessed 11-year-old girl in Britain during the 1970s. In the film, a demonic entity called "the nun" serves as the crux of the plot, but the character's role isn't revealed until the end. The spinoff takes that nun and creates a context for the character.
The two Annabelle movies, released after the first Conjuring film, tie into The Conjuring through the Annabelle doll. While Annabelle wasn't a direct precursor to The Conjuring, the movies feature enough crossover to hint at a realm wherein both stories exist.
New Line Cinema is positioning itself as the next Blumhouse - it is, after all, "the house that Freddy Krueger built" - and plans exist for multiple movies within the Conjuring universe. And each will reportedly be unique in tone.
While The Conjuring is spooky, supernatural exorcism and Annabelle emphasizes creepy dolls, The Nun is more like a lurid giallo film, while Crooked Man will allegedly resemble a Guillermo del Toro-style fantasy. A La Llorona movie that's also loosely tied to the franchise is in the works, as well.
Creator James Wan admitted he'd be thrilled to bring all the characters together in a giant MCU-style mashup at some point in the future, saying, "If I could pull off an Avengers of the Conjuring universe, I would love for that to happen."
According to reports, The Nun will feature far less CGI than most modern horror films. As director Colin Hardy points out, that means more physical horror and practical effects.
The film, shot on location in Romania, utilizes many creepy and paranormal-adjacent destinations for its sets. Hardy compares The Nun to his previous directorial feature, saying:
It’s also a grounded movie in that we’re doing it all for real... There’s very little CGI - actually less CGI than even The Hallow. We’re concentrating more on complex choreography and mind-trickery.
Taissa Farmiga (of American Horror Story fame) is officially joining her sister Vera in the Conjuring universe. Whereas Vera plays Lorraine Warren, Taissa holds the lead role in The Nun.
Both sisters make it clear in interviews the characters share no link, though future Conjuring universe installments might end up disproving their statements. Director Corin Hardy said he almost avoided casting Taissa, as he didn't want the association with her older sister to affect the story. Hardy admitted:
Honestly, I probably wasn't going to cast her because she was Vera's sister, in order for it to not look convenient, but she was so good in her auditions. I watched 100 auditions for this role, and she had some kind of presence outside of her own body that is evident, and she's phenomenal.
Both sisters are supportive of each other in their real-world careers. Apparently, good horror movie acting runs in the family.