Warner Bros.' horror franchise The Conjuring will be back for a fourth movie, here's everything we know about the release date, cast, story, and the series' future.
The Conjuring universe will see its next expansion with The Nun II, which hits theaters on September 8. But after that, The Conjuring: Last Rites is seemingly set to be the next entry in the franchise.
When Will The Conjuring 4 Be Released?
The Conjuring 4 was revealed by The Hollywood Reporter in October 2022, with David Leslie Johnson-McGoldrick, the writer behind the franchise's last movie, The Devil Made Me Do It, set to pen the screenplay once again.
Since The Conjuring franchise began in 2013, there has never been more than a two-year gap between new movies - be those entries in the main horror franchise or its many spin-offs, including Annabelle, The Nun, and The Curse of La Llorona.
The franchise has been a commercial success for the studio, having grossed a total of $2.1 billion on just a $178 million budget, meaning Warner Bros. will likely want to get it into production as soon as possible once work can resume.
Obviously, the ongoing writers' and actors' strike placed a unique hold on the development of The Conjuring 4, so it's unclear exactly when filming will be able to begin, but it will probably be in early 2024.
A release date for The Conjuring 4 - revealed at CinemaCon, via Collider, to be titled Last Rites - has not yet been announced. But Wan explained to Collider they are going to "take [their] time" to get it right.
While an exact release date won't become apparent until the Hollywood strikes finally end, the best guess would be that it will arrive sometime in 2025.
Who Will Return in The Conjuring 4?
Sharing the original announcement of The Conjuring 4 on Instagram, producer James Wan shared how he is "excited to have [Vera Farmiga] and [Patrick Wilson] back," thus confirming the return of the Warrens, who have been at the heart of the series since the very beginning.
For the most part, each of The Conjuring movies has its own unique cast supernatural case to explore, so the only other character likely to return is Judy Warren, the couple's daughter.
Judy was played by Sterling Jerins in the three Conjuring movies, but she was replaced by Mckenna Grace for Annabelle Comes Home, presumably to fill the role with a younger actress as it took place earlier in the franchise timeline.
When it comes to The Conjuring 4, the Warrens' daughter will likely be played by Sterling Jerins once again, provided it takes place after the last movie and doesn't once again revisit a prior time in the horror universe.
What Will Happen in The Conjuring 4?
The Conjuring movies are based on the real-world supernatural investigations of Ed and Lorraine Warren. As The Devil Made Me Do It took place in 1981 after the trial of Arne Johnson, The Conjuring 4 will presumably explore one of the pair's cases after that date, but which will it be?
The movie could take on the Warrens' 1986 Snedeker house case, which saw them investigate a former funeral home infested with demons that were now haunting the Snedeker family after they rented the old house.
This focus on an old funeral home would certainly go along with The Conjuring 4 being called Last Rites, as the subtitle refers to the final prayers given to a Christian ahead of their imminent death.
Will The Conjuring 4 Be the Final Movie?
Speaking with Collider, producer James Wan teased The Conjuring 4 will be "potentially wrapping up" the story of Ed and Lorraine Warren:
“Yeah, we are working on it right now. With the 'Conjuring' films, we are very precious about [them]. And so we kind of want to just take our time to make sure we get it right and to make sure the emotion of the Warren stories that we want to tell, and moving into, and potentially wrapping up, we just want to make sure that it’s the right thing, the right story that we’re telling.”
That being said, Wan did offer a glimmer of hope that The Conjuring may not be done quite yet as he teased, “We never know. You never know. We’ll see.”
One definitely has to question The Conjuring 4 being called Last Rites, as it certainly has a sense of finality to it, especially as the term refers to the last prayers given to a dying individual before death in the Christian faith.
Even if The Conjuring 4 does end up being the last of the main franchise, the universe will undoubtedly continue to expand with more spin-offs and sequels.
Although no further spin-off movies have yet been announced beyond this year's The Nun II, a Max original series set in The Conjuring universe was announced to be in the works to be produced by Wan and Peter Safran.
The Conjuring: Last Rites has yet to set an official release date.