The Tracking Board has confirmed that New Line Cinema is moving forward with THE CROOKED MAN, the third spinoff in The Conjuring universe based on a hit breakout character from The Conjuring 2. Mike Van Waes has been tapped to pen the script based on a story by Conjuring universe architect James Wan.
In the sequel, the Crooked Man is one of the vessels that the main antagonist, the evil spirit Valak, uses to torment the Hodgson family and protagonists Ed and Lorraine Warren. While not the primary evil figure in the film, the Crooked Man quickly became a standout thanks to his fun appearance and Javier Botet’s performance (as well as his zoetrope device).
The figure of the Crooked Man first originated from the following 1840s English nursery rhyme recorded by James Orchard Halliwell (and used in The Conjuring 2):
There was a crooked man, and he walked a crooked mile.
He found a crooked sixpence upon a crooked stile.
He bought a crooked cat, which caught a crooked mouse,
And they all lived together in a little crooked house.
The Crooked Man in question is said to be the Scottish General Sir Alexander Leslie and based on the border between England and Scotland and the tentative agreement the two countries agreed upon in order to co-exist. The rhyme gained popularity in the early twentieth century.
This will be the third character to receive a spinoff from the universe, following Annabelle and the Nun, and the fourth spinoff film overall following Annabelle, Annabelle: Creation, set for release on August 11, and The Nun, scheduled to come out on July 13, 2018. Overall, the universe and its three films have achieved a worldwide box office of $897 million and it’s expected to reach $1 billion when Annabelle: Creation comes out, making it one of the most successful horror franchises.
Wan, who directed the two main Conjuring films and produced the rest in the franchise, will also co-produce this film alongside Peter Safran. The Hollywood Reporter first reported on the development of this new spinoff.
Van Waes has several projects in development, including his spec Hammerspace set at Warner Bros. and his untitled horror pitch, set in the world of The Wizard of Oz, in the works at New Line. He’s repped by CAA and Grandview.
Anya Crittenton | Associate Editor