'Conjuring 2' Spinoff 'The Crooked Man' in the Works (Exclusive)

Mike Van Waes has been hired to write the horror story about the tall, slender character who first appeared in James Wan's horror sequel.

The Conjuring franchise continues to expand, with New Line Cinema getting to work on a Conjuring 2 spinoff based around the character of the Crooked Man.

Mike Van Waes has been hired to pen the script from a story by James Wan, who serves as the chief architect of the Conjuring universe.

The Crooked Man made his first appearance in The Conjuring 2, the Wan-helmed horror hit released in June 2016. The film series stars Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga as Lorraine and Ed Warren, the real-life paranormal researchers who help people whose homes have been plagued by malicious spirits.

Wan and Peter Safran are producing The Crooked Man, the next chapter in this growing universe.

The Crooked Man character is based on an English nursery rhyme: "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 tall, slender character has had plenty of pop culture appearances over the years. The poem was recited in the third season of TV series Fargo and a film titled The Crooked Man was released earlier this year.

The success of the Conjuring films has spawned prequels and planned spinoffs in the creation of a hot horror universe. The first two Conjuring films and the prequel spinoff Annabelle have earned $897 million worldwide to date. Annabelle: Creation is set to hit theaters Aug. 11.

The next spinoff from the main film series will be The Nun, which will star Demian Bichir as a priest who investigates the mysterious death of a nun. The demon nun at the center of the tale first appeared in The Conjuring 2. New Line has set the film for release on Friday, July 13, 2018.

Van Waes is reuniting with New Line, which previously scooped up his pitch for an original horror film set in the world of The Wizard of Oz. Van Waes has been on a roll when it comes to selling pitches and scripts over the past 15 months: His Black List spec Hammerspace is at Warner Bros., and he sold a book proposal called Peeves to Harper Collins, which was picked up by Fox Animation through Temple Hill.

Van Waes is repped by CAA, Grandview and Bloom Hergott.