A new featurette for The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It dives into the real-life events that inspired the upcoming horror sequel. The third adventure for Ed and Lorraine Warren, and eighth overall installment in Warner Bros.’ Conjuring Universe, is inspired by the trial of Arne Cheyenne Johnson, which drew huge levels of media interest at the time as the first court case in the history of the United States judicial system where demonic possession was used as a defense.
Jackson was convicted of killing his landlord, but denied personal responsibility for the crime after remaining adamant that his younger brother David Glatzel had been possessed by a demon, which saw him enlist the service of famed investigators the Warrens. After an exorcism lasting several days, the malevolent entity reportedly fled and shacked up with its new host, who was then blamed when Arne killed Alan Bono in November 1981.
It’s certainly an interesting hook for the movie, adding elements of the courtroom thriller into the standard supernatural shenanigans that have defined The Conjuring so far. Of course, depending on your mileage when it comes to the paranormal, all three of the films have been “based on true stories,” with the first outing inspired by the Perron family being haunted by the ghost of real-life Satanist Bathsheba who lived on their property a century previously, with the follow-up tackling the Enfield poltergeist.
The Devil Made Me Do It is the first Conjuring not to be directed by James Wan, but he retains story and producing credits with The Curse of La Llorona’s Michael Chaves stepping in behind the camera in his stead, so there’s at least plenty of familiarity with the property. Chaves has promised the biggest, darkest and most expansive entry yet in what’s become the highest-grossing horror franchise in history.
Series regulars Vera Farmiga and Patrick Wilson are joined by Ruairi O’Connor, Sarah Catherine Hook, Julian Hilliard, Charlene Amoia, Paul Wilson, John Noble and Sterling Jerins. The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It is coming to theaters and HBO Max on June 4, and you can check out the eerie featurette below.