Published Apr 03, 2017Director James Wan has had a great deal of success with The Conjuring and The Conjuring 2, along with its companion film Annabelle (which he produced). Now, however, the only thing the budding franchise seems to be conjuring is some major litigation.
As detailed by The Hollywood Reporter, the longstanding franchise has now been slapped with a $900 million USD lawsuit from Gerard Brittle, who claims the films infringe on his 1980 book The Demonologist. The non-fiction release followed the lives of Ed and Lorraine Warren, who also appear in the Conjuring films.
In the 355-page lawsuit, Brittle argues that he has exclusive rights to create any derivative work about the Warren couple. In a 1978 agreement for The Demonologist, the couple agreed that no "competing work" would be allowed. As such, he argues that the Conjuring films infringe by showcases their "lives and experiences as paranormal investigators."
Here's where it gets weird. Brittle issued a cease and desist to Warner Bros. when The Conjuring 2 was about to be released, at which point the massive studio argued that the films were not based on his books but on "historical facts."
That makes it a question of whether or not ghosts are actually real. According to Brittle, the stories told in The Demonologist were elaborate lies from the Warren duo.
"Lorraine and Ed Warren's claims of what happened in their Perron Farmhouse Case File, which the Defendants freely and publicly admit their The Conjuring movie was based on, does not at all jive with the real historical facts," the lawsuit reads. "This is a pattern of deceit that is part of a scheme that the Warrens have perpetuated for years ... There are no historical facts of a witch ever existing at the Perron farmhouse, a witch hanging herself, possession, Satanic worship or child sacrifice."
Making things even worse, there's a smoking gun on Twitter. Though Warner is attempting to prove that the filmmakers were not influenced by the book whatsoever, Wan said quite the opposite in 2011, some two years before The Conjuring was released:
I watch/read a lot of scary stories. But fuck, THE DEMONOLOGIST, true life account of Ed & Lorraine Warren, is the scariest book I've read.— James Wan (@creepypuppet) November 30, 2011