by Sandra Kraisirideja
Director James Wan was the guest panelist for the Warner Bros. and New Line Cinema presentation at WonderCon on Saturday.
Wan was there to promote his newest movie, The Conjuring 2, and introduce the director and cast of Lights Out, the first movie from his production company, Atomic Monster.
Evan Dickson moderated the panel and though he was erroneously introduced as Eric Dickerson by Eddie Ibrahim, a la John Travolta at the Oscars, he took it in stride.
Wan is best known as the director of such horror movies as Saw, Insidious and The Conjuring. Lately he has been moving into action recently with The Furious 7 and the upcoming Aquaman.
When asked by an audience member if he prefers directing action movies over horror Wan said he likes all kinds of movies and wants to keep growing as an artist. He did acknowledge that the “horror genre has been very good to me.”
Dickson asked if Wan has any interest in putting his own stamp on a popular horror franchise. “I get approached to remake a lot of horror franchises,” Wan said, “but I have never looked at anything from that perspective.” Wan was careful not to take the bait and never mentioned a specific franchise or movie. If he had there would have been a flurry of click bait headlines proclaiming his answer.
Getting back to The Conjuring 2, Wan said he chose this story from the hundreds investigated by Ed and Lorraine Warren because it is one of the most documented paranormal cases and has a connection to Amityville.
An extended trailer was shown during the panel which had more action and quick cuts than the trailer for the first movie. The Conjuring 2 comes across as a more straight-forward horror movie.
Lights Out, has a concept that is sure to cause some sleepless nights. The female villain, who appears only when the lights are out, feeds off fear. Who hasn’t switched off a light and thought they’ve seen a person in the shadows?
Lights Out is the feature adaptation of the short film by director David F. Sandberg. Wan discovered Sandberg when his short film went viral and decided to produce a feature-length version under his new production company, Atomic Monster. The script was written by Eric Heisserer.
Wan feels anyone who has a desire to become a filmmaker can do so with the accessibility and affordability of equipment and access to sites like YouTube to share content. “You are the only person holding yourself back from being a filmmaker,” Wan said.
The Conjuring 2 opens June 10 followed by Lights Out on July 22.