The Conjuring Universe’s Lost Spin-Off: The Mystery of ‘The Crooked Man’
The Conjuring universe, with its array of spine-chilling characters, has enthralled horror aficionados for years. One of the most anticipated spin-offs that remained veiled in mystery was The Crooked Man. With the mega-franchise reaching new heights and countless titles like The Nun II debuting, why was The Crooked Man left behind?
Emergence of The Crooked Man
The enigmatic demonic figure, The Crooked Man, doesn’t dominate the screen in The Conjuring 2. Still, his presence lingers, marked by the torment of the Hodgson family and the chilling recital of the 1800s English nursery rhyme. With his towering, lanky figure and an overshadowing bowler hat, his aesthetic design promised commercial potential. The portrayal by Javiet Botet captured attention, signaling a marketing triumph if leveraged correctly.
James Wan’s Vision
The Conjuring has seen some iconic spin-offs, Annabelle and Valak being prime examples. Following this pattern, it seemed only logical that the Crooked Man would join the ranks. By June 2017, word spread about a standalone film based on The Crooked Man, rooted in a concept developed by the maestro, James Wan. There were murmurs of its release, perhaps as early as 2019, fitting the regular cadence of Conjuring titles.
Wan, in subsequent statements, hinted at a different tone for The Crooked Man. He envisaged a “dark fairytale” theme, a more whimsical contrast to the other Conjuring films. However, he left many questions unanswered, including the film’s setting. Amidst all these updates, the slew of Conjuring movies in the pipeline took precedence.
Waning Interest in The Crooked Man?
The Crooked Man, unlike Annabelle or Valak, didn’t capture fans’ imaginations in the same enduring way. The lack of fanfare, cosplay dedications, and viral internet moments raised questions about its potential success. As newer characters emerged in the Conjuring universe, attention shifted, pushing the once-anticipated Crooked Man further into obscurity.
Untold Challenges and The Unraveling of a Spin-Off
Despite the lack of popularity, another question lingered—why was The Crooked Man shelved? Producer Peter Safran’s remarks in 2018 provided some clarity. He stressed the importance of crafting a script that lived up to the Conjuring universe’s standards, hinting at an unwillingness to push forward without impeccable storytelling.
However, external challenges mounted. The entertainment industry came to a halt due to the COVID-19 pandemic, impacting various projects, including those within the Conjuring universe. James Wan’s statement in November 2022 confirmed the inevitable—circumstances, presumably influenced by studio decisions, had mothballed The Crooked Man.
The horizon of the Conjuring universe seems to be changing. With sparse news on sequels after The Nun II and James Wan’s potential merger with Blumhouse Productions, it’s becoming clear that the era of relentless Conjuring spin-offs might be reaching its end. And within this evolving narrative, it seems The Crooked Man couldn’t find his rightful place.
The story of The Crooked Man serves as a poignant reminder of the unpredictable nature of the entertainment industry. While the Conjuring universe continues to evolve, some tales, as enthralling as they may be, remain untold.