James Wan, the man who created The Conjuring universe, won’t direct the next installment in the franchise. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Michael Chaves has been hired to take over. Chaves recently directed The Curse of La Llorona, which Wan produced.
Wan is expected to remain close to The Conjuring 3 once production gets under way. Currently, Wan is gearing up to promote DC’s Aquaman, a movie he’s been working on for the past few years.
In Chaves, Wan sees a capable replacement who impressed him with an award-winning horror short called The Maiden. It was that short that got Chaves behind the lens for La Llorona—and Wan was so impressed that he hired him for The Conjuring 3.
“While working closely with Chaves on The Curse of La Llorona, I got to know him as a filmmaker,” Wan said. “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.”
A script for The Conjuring 3 is currently being written, and will once again focus on paranormal investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren. Both Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga will return for their respective roles.
It’s unclear when The Conjuring 3 will come out, but audiences have plenty of other movies to look forward to in the same universe. Another Annabelle is currently scheduled for a 2019 release, and there’s also a film called The Crooked Man in production.