The set-up is already in place, deliberately or not. Some some shots in James Wan's new, brilliantly effective haunted house movie The Conjuring, and not least the very final one, suggest quite clearly how a whole series of films might work, a kind of Ghostbuster's Casebook.
But this first film was "based upon a true story," or at least the book House of Darkness, House of Light: The True Story of Andrea Perron. Are there more of these "true stories" to be mined for future movies?
According to Variety, Warner Bros. have had conversations with Lorraine Warren, the real life woman who became The Conjuring's spook-chasing protagonist, about spinning off her big-screen alter-ego for a whole series of films.
It's clear from the first movie's narrative that Warren encountered several hauntings before the Perron one, but not what came next for her. I suppose the plans could lead to prequels, but I also imagine that Lionsgate would rather keep Vera Farmiga and Patrick Wilson, who play the Warrens, on board, and that's going to work better, at least on an indefinite timescale, if the series marches forwards.
Carey Hayes and Chad Hayes, the screenwriters of the first film, have been tapped to write the next. They'll presumably do so in consultation with Warren, as they did the last time. I'm curious to see how much of the next story is pure contrivance.
And will James Wan return for another go around? He's about to spend a good long while on Fast and Furious 7, so I'm guessing this will, at least in part, be a question of scheduling.
And talking of scheduling…
The already successful Paranormal Activity series marches on. Despite rumours that part 5 was going to be pushed back and not see release until the new year, producer Jason Blum has told Shock Til You Drop that plans are just the same as ever:
It's not done, but it's closer to being done than when we started. We're on track for October, it's mostly shot. We're still shooting but it's mostly done.
The only catch is that Blum was speaking just hours before The Wrap seemed to legitimise the push-back rumours with a report on the release date change. Could things have been scrambled in such a short window? Probably not. I'm still expecting an October bow for the film.
Already late, and maybe even outright cancelled, is the Spanish-language spin-off film that we talked about a few times last year. That one just seems to have faded away…
UPDATE: It's now official that Paranormal Activity 5 is scheduled for release on January 3rd next year.