The producers and writers behind The Conjuring are yanking another page from the "scary but true" book in the shape of The LaLaurie Mansion, a new franchise based on the infamous New Orleans domicile. Back in 2019, Carey and Chad Hayes began work on the project, and today Deadline (opens in new tab) reports the pair are bringing on Spiral: From the Book of Saw director Darren Lynn Bousman to helm the first installment.
What's not to love about an entire franchise of movies based on one of the most haunted houses in the US… that apparently Nicolas Cage also lived in? The place is a notorious ghost-hunting site in New Orleans and it's easy to see why. Its gruesome legend stems from its 19th-century tenant, Delphine LaLaurie, a socialite who murdered her slaves. Only when the mansion burned down were firefighters able to unearth her victims, setting the truth free. LaLaurie fled the city, however, and avoided criminal prosecution. American Horror Story fans may recognize her name; a fictionalized version appeared in season 3 played by Kathy Bates.
The overarching plan for the franchise is, at this point, unknown past the first movie which will shoot immediately with a release set for the end of 2021. The Hayes brothers wrote the screenplay in the house itself, apparently hoping some of the mansion's evil might seep into the script.
Bousman also spent time there too, which hasn't frightened him enough to send him running for the hills. “Joining this project is a dream come true for me," he said in a statement. "For as long as I can remember I have been obsessed with the paranormal. Anyone who studies the supernatural knows the legends and lore of the LaLaurie Mansion. It’s the holy grail of these types of environments. Recently I was allowed access to the house, and was able to stay there with the Hayes brothers. There is no way to articulate my 72 hours inside those walls. The house consumes you. Its history cripples you. The Hayes Brothers have crafted such an emotional, suspenseful, and scary narrative that I cannot wait to introduce the world to this unbelievable location."
It's safe to say, horror remains the little genre that could. A Quiet Place 2 broke pandemic box office records, Spiral: From the Book of Saw snagged the "most political movies since Get Out" label, and The Conjuring 3: The Devil Made Me Do It rang up an impressive $24 million opening weekend – not bad considering US audiences also had the choice to watch the sequel on HBO Max. Here's hoping this latest spooky franchise does the same.
The Conjuring 3: The Devil Made Me Do It is in theaters now and for US audiences available on HBO Max (opens in new tab). Spiral: From the Book of Saw is also still in theaters worldwide. For more horror on the horizon, scope out upcoming horror movies.