'The Conjuring 3' Finds Director With 'Curse of La Llorona' Filmmaker (Exclusive)

Michael Chaves and James Wan-Split-Getty-H 2018
Michael Rodriguez; Araya Diaz/Getty Images
James Wan, who directed 'The Conjuring' and 'The Conjuring 2,' is letting someone new play in the scary sandbox.

After helming two installments of New Line’s hit horror series The Conjuring, filmmaker James Wan is stepping aside and letting some fresh blood take over.

Michael Chaves, who is coming off of the horror movie The Curse of La Llorona, which Wan produced, has been set to direct The Conjuring 3 for New Line.

Wan will remain closely involved as a producer, via his Atomic Monster production company, and act as a godfather on the feature. Also returning as producer is Peter Safran via his Safran Company banner.

Chaves was discovered by Wan and his Atomic Monster execs off of his award-winning horror short The Maiden, which catapulted him to his directorial debut La Llorona, which New Line will open April 19, 2019. His work on the latter clearly impressed both Wan and New Line.

“While working closely with Chaves on The Curse of La Llorona, I got to know him as a filmmaker,” Wan said in a statement. “Chaves’ ability to bring emotion to a story, and his understanding of mood and scares, make him a perfect fit to direct the next Conjuring film.”

David Leslie Johnson, who worked on The Conjuring 2 and Wan's upcoming Aquaman, is in the midst of writing the script for The Conjuring 3, which will once again focus on husband-and-wife paranormal investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren. Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga played the duo in the first two installments and will be back for more scares.

Added Wan: "I'm excited to be back as producer and continue with Vera and Patrick on the next supernatural adventure of the Warrens."

“I am a huge fan of the Conjuring films,” said Chaves. “The movies are the rare combination that delivers both tremendous heart and awesome scares. It is both a total thrill and absolute honor to be working with James and the gang at New Line again.”

The Conjuring, made for just $20 million, became a runaway hit when it was released in 2013, scaring up almost $320 million worldwide. Since then, New Line has carefully laid out a Conjuring universe of movies, with sequels, prequels and spinoffs. The latest movie in the franchise was September’s The Nun, which has become the most successful outing so far, earning $334.8 million to date. 

Chaves is repped by Paradigm and Hirsch Wallerstein.