WonderCon: 'The Conjuring' Director James Wan on the Horror Genre, Avoiding Remakes

"I’ve never looked back and said, 'I would love to take on that franchise.' I’ve been inspired by the horror stories I grew up [with], but I want to create new stuff if I can.”
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James Wan

WonderCon is light on the presence of movie companies this year, but one making an appearance was New Line. The sister arm of Warner Bros. is proving to be one of the only spots for horror from the studio world as it brought out James Wan, the director of its upcoming The Conjuring 2 and producer of Lights Out. 

Trailers for both were shown but Lights Out, based on an Internet short that went viral, proved to be a creepy breakout. The trailer traded heavily on the scares provided by an evil creature that lives in the darkness of rooms as it terrorizes a mother, played by Maria Bello, and her son.

While Bello and other producers were onstage, it was Wan who held the audience’s attention, talking about his experiences making the first Conjuring film and how he got is break with his feature debut, Saw. (Although when asked during the Q&A a question that involved Aquaman, the moderator politely said Wan wasn't allowed to talk about that secretive DC movie project.) 

Wan did state he had no intention at this time to remake any horror franchise, saying he wants to focus on the new as much as possible.

“I get approached to remake a lot of horror properties,” he said. “Let’s just say I fight against that. I’ve never looked back and said, 'I would love to take on that franchise.' I’ve been inspired by the horror stories I grew up [with], but I want to create new stuff if I can.”

Meanwhile, Lights Out director David Sandberg humorously recalled how rules could often change when working with a horror icon like Wan. For one scene, Sandberg wanted to light it by candlelight. He was told he couldn’t do that, that that’s not how things work.

“When James was on the set, he said, ‘You know what would be good? If you lit that with just candlelight.' And everyone was, ‘Great idea, let’s do that!'"

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