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Annabelle Comes Home Director Teases Potential Spin-Off Ideas

The Conjuring Universe might be getting some new inhabitants.

In a recent conversation with Entertainment Weekly, writer/director Gary Dauberman revealed that one or two of the spooks featured in the recent trailers for the forthcoming Annabelle Comes Home are being considered for spin-off pictures of their own.

In our report on the flick's (freaking awesome) second trailer, we noted that there seemed to be a bit of table-setting going on in regards to the various malevolent entities activated by the presence of Annabelle in the Artifacts Room of those crazy demonologists Ed and Lorraine Warren. In the spot, we're informed that the evil doll is a "beacon for other spirits" (which you could argue makes the decision to stick her in a room with dozens of haunted objects a questionable one, but we digress). One of these entities takes center stage in the trailer — the Ferryman, a hooded ghost with coins over its eyes who "steals [the] souls" of the living, and who seems scientifically calibrated to scare the living hell out of pretty much anyone.

Dauberman — who penned the scripts for both previous Annabelle flicks, as well as The Nun and both chapters of the Stephen King adaptation It — revealed to EW that the character's inspiration came from the Greek mythological figure Charon, the ferryman on the River Styx tasked with transporting the souls of the dead to their final destination. That myth was also the impetus for the creepy, old-timey custom of placing coins on the eyes of the newly deceased, a custom which Dauberman found to be deliciously weird.

"One of the things that's always haunted me when I go online, and look at certain [things], is the pictures of those corpses with the coins over their eyes, which was to pay The Ferryman, which was something that I always thought was really this cool idea," Dauberman said. "There's a very Grim Reaper-esque quality to all that stuff, so it was something I wanted to dig into here."

Despite how it might appear, however, Dauberman insists that the filmmakers behind the Conjuring flicks — including himself and mastermind James Wan — never go into a project with thoughts of how they might spin off certain characters. Even in the case of The Nun, which became the highest-grossing entry in the entire series, Dauberman says that it was purely the reaction of the audience to the the demonic nun Valak's appearance in The Conjuring 2 that informed the decision to explore the character further in a spin-off movie.

"I didn't look at this process, [and] I know James [Wan] didn't, going, 'What other stuff can we absolutely spin-off into other movies?' [The focus is on] what works for this movie, and then if people seem to dig it, then we'll go from there," he said. "I mean, when James did [Valak] for Conjuring 2, it wasn't like, 'Oh, that's going to be great as a spin-off.' It was just [that] the audience seemed to really respond to it — for good reason, because she's terrifying — and then going, 'Well, okay, that feels like a movie.' But it's always been a very organic process, which I've always respected and liked about it."

Having said that, however, Dauberman seemed to admit that the Conjuring Universe, by its very nature, lent itself very well to that organic process he was describing. Particularly in the case of Annabelle Comes Home — in which the introduction of a slew of various creeps and their associated backstories are pretty much necessitated by the film's plot — he related that he was inclined to include ones that were interesting enough on their faces that he could see audiences wanting more.

"There's been some artifacts that I've really sort of fallen in love with, that I would love to scratch beneath the surface I've presented here, and see what's up with them," he said.

Something tells us that he's not just idly musing, because the Conjuring films and their spin-offs have clocked serious box office bank; counting this April's The Curse of La Llorona, the six films in the series have combined for a worldwide box office take of nearly $1.7 billion dollars. Annabelle Comes Home — which will mark Dauberman's directorial debut — will be the first of the Annabelle flicks in which the Warrens, the principals of the main series, will be heavily featured — so it would surprise us not at all if the film pushed the franchise over the $2 billion dollar mark globally.

This all to say that there are definitely more spin-offs to come, and we'll just go ahead and interject our opinion that if a Ferryman vehicle isn't announced within a month or two of Annabelle Comes Home's release, we'll personally come to your home and give you a nice, crisp 20 dollar bill. We'll see just how significant a part the character has to play — and just how hard he freaks out audiences — when the movie hits the big screen on June 26.