Everyone loved "The Conjuring." Everyone. And with good reason: it is really, really amazing. James Wan's super-creepy haunted house story was elegant and intense, with a strong emotional connection to the family that is terrorized by ghostly goings-on at their New England farmhouse as well as the paranormal investigators who are trying to rid the house of said spirits. While a straightforward sequel to the movie is being worked on (keep in mind that the original title for the movie was "The Warren Files," and that it was intended to set up a franchise more definitively), word is that a spin-off is being worked on too, focused on the demonic Annabelle doll glimpsed in the movie's prologue.
According to the report, three "micro budget" spin-offs of the film are being planned in parallel to the larger budget sequel (Warner Bros. is trying to woo James Wan back, following his work on Universal's "Fast and Furious 7"), with "The Annabelle Story" going up first. It's unclear whether or not this is a short film, some kind of direct-to-video component, or a full-on theatrical spin off (I'm kind of betting on the last thing), but it is known that the brilliant cinematographer of "The Conjuring," John R. Leonetti, will be directing. It's assumed that "The Annabelle Story" will be set in the period briefly glimpsed at the beginning of "The Conjuring," with some young nurses being terrorized by a demonically possessed doll in the late sixties. Production on the project could begin as early as next month.
The actual Annabelle doll is one of the more beloved and talked about objects in the Warrens' actual cabinet of curiosities that adorns their real life home (in suburban Connecticut, very close to where I live –- ah!). Ed Warren (played by Patrick Wilson) died recently, but Lorraine (played by Vera Farmiga) still lives there. And so does Annabelle.