As horror fans may know, Australian genre director James Wan burst onto the horror scene with his breakout low budget hit Saw (2004), the franchise-spawning sleeper that follows two people trapped in a dilapidated bathroom, forced to play a sadistic game by the serial killer, Jigsaw. Wan followed with two 2007 genre entries, including the divisive puppet horror film Dead Silence and his first action-thriller, Death Sentence starring Kevin Bacon and Garrett Hedlund. Following his negative studio experiences with those films, Wan returned to independent horror with his next film Insidious (2011) and then returned to studio filmmaking with unprecedented creative freedom, offering this summer’s massive box-office success, The Conjuring. A sequel, or rather a continuation of the story in Insidious, given the moniker Insidious: Chapter 2 was released last Friday, September 13th, already making 8 times the production budget in its first weekend alone. Hot off the success of that and news that Leigh Whannel will return to pen Insidious: Chapter 3, James Wan sat with Moviefone to discuss the new film and announce that he is “finished with the horror genre”. This would be the second major genre director to announce his retirement from horror this year alone, following Rob Zombie’s announcement back in May.
When asked why, Wan stated, “I’ve spent the last ten years of my life doing this. It’s time for a change, for goodness sake!” He also went on to say, “Hollywood puts you in a box. If you do a successful comedy, then you’re known as The Comedy Guy. If you do a successful car chase movie, then you become that guy. So I’m a student of cinema, so I just want to make sure I get the chance to make other kinds of films.” He’ll get that chance; Wan is set to helm Fast & Furious 7, which is scheduled to come out July 11th, 2014, is still attached to the reboot of ‘80s action series MacGyver and at the 2012 New York Comic Con, he stated his desire to helm a superhero film, jokingly stating, “I want to make a Batman film and I’d like [Patrick Wilson] to be my Bruce Wayne.”
So, if Wan is truly done with the horror genre, what does that make of the impending sequels to The Conjuring and Insidious: Chapter 2? With stars Vera Farmiga and Patrick Wilson already signed on to the project, will the production go for another director with a similar aesthetic or possibly go against expectations? Will Leigh Whannell finally go behind the directors chair for Insidious: Chapter 3? With producer Jason Blum clearly intending to keep the franchise “in the family”, one wonders just how long Wan will keep away from the genre that made his name.
Readers, stay tuned to Diaboliquemagazine.com for more on James Wan and Insidious: Chapter 3!