THR reports that Michael Chaves is in negotiations to serve as the director of The Conjuring 4, which is expected to be the final installment of the main series.
Michael Chaves is no stranger to The Conjuring franchise as he was the director of the last installment, The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It, and also helmed The Nun II. David Leslie Johnson-McGoldrick, who penned the screenplay for the third installment, will return to write this final sequel. Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga are naturally expected to return as Ed and Lorraine Warren, with production looking to start shooting this summer in Atlanta. Plot details are being kept under wraps at this point, but a few ghostly apparitions and demonic possessions are a good bet.
Prior to officially joining The Conjuring franchise with the third movie, Chaves directed The Curse of La Llorona, which is often mistakenly included in the franchise. While the film has several notable connections to The Conjuring Universe (including an Annabelle easter egg and Tony Amendola reprising his role as Father Perez), Chaves confirmed last year that it’s not part of the franchise.
“There’s so much debate about it and I think I’ve played coy in the past,” Chaves said. “The idea was that [the Annabelle cameo] was going to be this little hidden thing that you were going to discover as you watch the movie. One of the reasons that it couldn’t formally be a part of the Conjuring universe is it didn’t include one of the key producers, which is Peter Safran. The Conjuring is his baby, him and James, and they are still the two core producers on it.“
The last installment of the franchise, The Nun II, was released last September, and while it received mixed reviews, it was a success at the box office, grossing $269 million worldwide against a $38.5 million budget. The larger franchise has become the highest-grossing horror franchise of all time, grossing $2.1 billion across eight movies.