New Line was reportedly one of the few movie studios representing at WonderCon over the weekend in Los Angeles, and this sister arm of Warner Bros. brought James Wan - director of its upcoming The Conjuring 2 and producer of Lights Out to help debut new trailers for both films. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Wan and the film's stars and producers participated in a panel Q&A where he discussed making the first Conjuring film, and how he has no interest in remaking any horror franchise - preferring to focus on crafting as much original material as possible.
"I get approached to remake a lot of horror properties. Let's just say I fight against that. I've never looked back and said, 'I would love to take on that franchise," he said, adding, "My work has been inspired by the horror stories I grow up with. I'd like to creating new stuff if I could. If I come across anything I can put my own stamp on that already exists, I wouldn't be opposed to it."
Lights Out is a supernatural horror directed and written by David F. Sandberg, based on his 2013 short film that went viral. The film stars Maria Bello and Teresa Palmer as mother and daughter who have a strange connection to a supernatural entity that's tormenting their family. The film is scheduled to be released on July 22, 2016, against Star Trek Beyond and Ice Age: Collision Course.
Check out the Lights Out trailer below.
You can also check out Sandberg's original short film here.
Wan was joined onstage by Sandberg and Bello, who recently watched the film and gave it two thumbs up, saying she "watched it between my fingers." "That's when I knew it was pretty good," she said. "For a horror film, it's such a drama, and a family drama."
The writer/director explained that one of the reasons he wanted to produce Lights Out was to give new filmmakers like Sandberg the types of opportunities he had when he was trying to get Saw financed.
"I want to start off making the type of horror films I loved when I grew up as a kid," he said. "What's so great about the horror genre is you can really take chances. You can take chances and try things you can't otherwise try."
Malaysian-born Wan made his directorial debut with 2004's Saw. The screenplay is based on a story written by James and Leigh Whannell. It's the first installment of a seven-part franchise, which earned more than $100 million worldwide. The films collectively have grossed nearly 900 million at the global box office. James is also widely known for creating Billy the Puppet, and for directing Dead Silence and Death Sentence, Insidious, The Conjuring and Insidious: Chapter 2, and Furious 7.
The Conjuring 2 finds Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga reprising their roles as paranormal investigators, and this time they're curious about the creepy events at what many have referred to as England's Amityville. The story centers on a single mother and her children who are being terrified by malevolent forces. The rest of the cast includes returning star Frances O'Connor, with newbies Lauren Esposito, Patrick McAuley and Benjamin Haigh as her children. The first trailer for the sequel was released earlier this year, but as ScreenRant notes, the new WonderCon trailer reveals more about the plot.
Check out the trailer for The Conjuring 2 below. It arrives in theaters on June 10, 2016.
"We wanted to mirror the story of Amityville. They are two of the most documented paranormal cases in the world," director James Wan wrote about The Conjuring 2 during a Twitter Q&A. "I wanted to expand on the world we created on the first, and explore their characters more."
James Wan wrote The Conjuring 2 script with Cary & Chad Hayes and David Leslie Johnson. During the WonderCon panel, when asked to explain what makes a good scare, he explained, "A good scare is hard to do right, and one you haven't seen before is even harder.... Coming up with something that's relevant, that's relevant to our every day life."
[Images courtesy Frazer Harrison/Getty Images]