The Conjuring, for the uninitiated, is a series of horror films created by Chad Hayes and Carey Hayes with New Line Cinema, which is now a division of Warner Bros. The films present a fictional take on the real-life cases of Ed and Lorraine Warren, paranormal investigators and authors associated with prominent yet controversial cases of ghostly haunting. The main movies deal with these protagonists dealing with various demonic possessions and various hauntings, whereas the spin-offs in the series deal with the original stories of the ghosts and ghouls in question.
The franchise currently consists of two films in the main series, The Conjuring (2013) and The Conjuring 2 (2016), both directed by James Wan (of SAW fame) and revolve around two of the many famous paranormal cases the Warrens have been a part of, with the first film depicting the case of the Perron family, who are experiencing disturbing events in their newly acquired house in Rhode Island, and the second entry focusing on the controversial case of the Enfield Poltergeist from the UK while briefly referencing the events that inspired The Amityville Horror (which we hinted at last year).
The franchise also includes Annabelle (2014), a prequel directed by The Conjuring cinematographer John R. Leonetti, which developed the origins of the doll of the same name before the Warrens came into contact with it at the start of the first film. A further prequel, Annabelle: Creation, is set for release on August 11, 2017. A spin-off film, The Nun, currently filming, based on a character introduced in The Conjuring 2, and a third film in the main series has been discussed as a possibility. As you can see from just 2013 this franchise has already built up an impressive resume that is perfect for any forthcoming HHNs – the fact that they are all owned by Warner bros is even more perfect, thanks to the boy wizard.
So what’s the problem?
The franchise has for a variety of reasons garnered a variety of legal issues. The first issue came in 2015 when the owners of the house that the first movie was based on sued Warners and all the producers due to the popularity of the movie and the tole that was taking on their house. They cited that their premises was getting vandalized from youths thanks to the consequences of the movie. They added that various home invasions had occurred since its release along with finding various objects that lead them to believe some of the break-ins may have been down to local satanists (we’re not making this up).
The eventual lawsuit said that the owners had previously lived peacefully in the house since they bought it in 1987 until 2013 when the movie was released. Supposedly, this case is still rumbling on in some capacity right now, though was expected by the press and various commentators to be settled in the near future. Its current status is unknown, but that’s not all…
The author of a book about the real life protagonists of the movies filed a $900 million lawsuit against Warner Bros and the producers in late March this year. He claimed that he had the exclusive rights to the their story and that what WB and others had created had all been done without his approval.
The Hollywood Reporter quotes the attorney Patrick C. Henry II here:
“When Lorraine Warren granted the Defendants the right to use the Warren Case Files, which the Defendants themselves repeatedly state their movies are based on, she could not have done so because she had years earlier contractually granted that exclusive right to use those same Warren cases, Warren Case Files and related materials to the Plaintiff. Lorraine Warren had nothing to convey.”
So why could this be bad for HHN27?
The Conjuring was rumored to be a house for HHN27 (technically it still is rumored), and if this is true it may mean that Universal have to rethink any potential plans of bringing this house to HHN. Typically, when a dispute of this nature arises it often leads to further installments of a franchise being put on hold until such a time that the dispute can be amicably resolved (not always but often). This being so, it would mean that any potential house for HHN for now or in future years would probably have to wait until the dispute is settled; the same could be said of any new feature films too. Every case is different and this ensures that there is no typical path for this matter to follow. However, we have seen something like this before…
Scream if you wanna go faster!
Back in 2015 the Scream house that had been built in one of the Sprung tents allegedly had to be pulled at the last minute. It was quickly replaced with a Purge house using the same sets and props as the former’s house (you can read more about that here and here). They had even made the HHN25 commercial by that point (see below), so it really was last minute dot com. But is that the case with The Conjuring?
It has been rumored all year, but they are just rumors, nothing concrete. The very same contact that told us about the Scream swap-out is the same contact that informed us about the Scream issue from 2015 – so it is possible.
Whatever happens, this is just firmly within the rumor category until Universal confirms otherwise. The only additional rumor at this point is that it may have been replaced by The Walking Dead but again, this is firmly just a rumor at this point. If true, we will no doubt here some of the super HHN fans grumble about *another* year of TWD (though last year’s house was actually very good!).
Click below to see Ghost Face in the non-released HHN25 trailer (Gosh HHN25 was soooo good!)
Would you love to see a Conjuring house at HHN? Let us know in the comments!