The Conjuring 2's terrifying villain Valak is well-known by fans for its creepy forms as The Nun and The Crooked Man.
But James Wan, who created the Conjuring Universe of horror movies, has revealed that the Fallen Angel very nearly looked completely different, as he celebrated Halloween with a #Halloweenretrospect Instagram post featuring some original concept art for the movie.
Wan revealed that The Conjuring 2 is one of his personal favourite movies due to its focus on "character-storytelling above anything else" and shared some incredible pieces of concept art for Valak's original design.
Related: A timeline of The Conjuring universe
The filmmaker revealed that he and concept designer Aaron Sims took inspiration from "our Dracula design for a movie I was attached to a long time ago called Castlevania" to plan how the "demonic entity" of The Conjuring 2 would look.
And it would have made for a very different Valak, with the creature having huge black horns protruding from its head, enormous black wings and glowing red eyes to make it look more like a traditional devil figure.
This different design for Valak was actually on the cards well into the filmmaking process, with Wan saying that "an awesome animatronic suit" was built, but he had a change of heart about the creature's look while editing the movie.
"I deemed this beautifully designed/sculpted horned demon too out of left-field for the film," he explained. "It needed to be more grounded and personal – something that would take Lorraine's faith and try to test/corrupt it.
CONJURING 2 is one of my personal fav. I focused on character-storytelling above anything else. Here’s my first design of the demonic entity haunting the family and Lorraine. Aaron Sims (concept designer) and myself took inspiration from our Dracula design for a movie I was attached to a long time ago called Castlevania. @justin.raleigh/Fractured FX built an awesome animatronic suit, and we were going to augment it with CGI wings. But alas, during editing, I deemed this beautifully designed/sculpted horned demon too out of left-field for the film. It needed to be more grounded and personal — something that would take Lorraine’s faith and try to test/corrupt it. I remember the real-life Lorraine Warren talking about her love and reverence for her nun friends, and a lightbulb went off — thus… the Demon Nun was born. So we went back and replaced all the Horned Demon with the Nun during additional photography. I call the last image “Beauty and the Beast”. #Halloweenretrospect
A post shared by James Wan (@creepypuppet) on Oct 21, 2020 at 3:28pm PDT
"I remember the real-life Lorraine Warren talking about her love and reverence for her nun friends, and a lightbulb went off – thus... the Demon Nun was born. So we went back and replaced all the Horned Demon with the Nun during additional photography."
He also shared a fun photo of Lorraine Warren actress Vera Farmiga pretending to kiss the Demon, joking that he calls the image "Beauty and the Beast".
Wan recently teased the upcoming The Conjuring 3, promising that it will be on a "whole different level" to its predecessors.
The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It had been due for release in September but is now expected to arrive in June 2021, and it sounds like Ed (Patrick Wilson) and Lorraine Warren's next paranormal case will be a bit of a departure from what we've seen before.
"I really wanted The Conjuring 3 to get away from the haunted house setup of the first two Conjuring films," Wan said, adding that the story will tackle "something we've never explored before in the The Conjuring world".
The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It is currently scheduled for release on June 4, 2021.
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