By MICHAEL GINGOLD
With ANNABELLE: CREATION on its way to outgrossing its predecessor, another chapter in the CONJURING backstory will be told in THE NUN (which is teased at the very end of CREATION) next summer. Director Corin Hardy (THE HALLOW) showed a short but chilling preview scene from THE NUN at London’s FrightFest over the weekend, and said a few words about the film.
Hardy is currently a month into postproduction on THE NUN, which will be released by New Line Cinema/Warner Bros. on Friday, July 13, 2018. THE HALLOW opened in the UK on November 13, 2015, and Hardy says, “Friday the 13th is my lucky day!” His NUN odyssey began early this year: “They sent me the script, and I had some movies I had been developing myself and was looking to make, and initially I wondered what THE NUN was going to be about. I can’t really tell you right now, but it was an exciting script to read. It’s set in Romania in the ’50s, which was a really cool world to explore with this kind of film; it had a little bit of an adventure to it.”
The screenplay, by the ANNABELLE films’ Gary Dauberman (from a story by Dauberman and CONJURING director James Wan), takes place in a Romanian monastery where Sister Irene (Taissa Farmiga of THE FINAL GIRLS) is confronted by the demonic nun that previously menaced Lorraine Warren (played by Farmiga’s sister Vera) in THE CONJURING 2. Despite her family connection to the saga, Taissa’s casting wasn’t an automatic decision. “I’d love to say it was,” Hardy says, “but honestly, I probably wasn’t going to cast her, because she was Vera’s sister, in order for it to not look as convenient as that. But she was so good in her auditions; I looked at 100 actresses for this role, and Taissa has some kind of presence outside of her own body.
“So I was really pleased to get her, and also Demián Bichir; in THE HATEFUL EIGHT, he plays Mexican Bob, who gets his face blown off. We’ve got also Jonas Bloquet, who’s in Paul Verhoeven’s movie ELLE and is fantastic, and a great supporting cast of British actors and Romanians and Italians and Americans—a real mixture.”
Bonnie Aarons returns from THE CONJURING 2 in the title role, and the film shot on location in Transylvania. “It’s a world of castles and relics and crumbling churches and old villages,” Hardy says, “so it has a really timeless feel about it. It was nice to get a film that was set in a place that we could go to to shoot in, because a lot of the time, it’s set somewhere and you have to go [to another location] where the tax breaks are and make it work that way. It was a real experience; I went there almost straightaway after getting the job to look for locations, and then we were shooting it 10 weeks later.” Look for more on THE NUN at this site as it nears release!