Filmmaker James Wan (The Conjuring, Insidious, Fast & Furious 7, Aquaman) has provided a behind-the-scenes look at the terrifying demon that was to feature in The Conjuring 2 before they opted for The Nun instead.
“The original VALAK in The Conjuring 2 was going to be this winged demon,” Wan caption his post on Instagram. “A beautifully/hideously sculpted animatronic puppet head and practical body-suit by the super talented @justin.raleigh (whom I’ve worked with on pretty much all my movies since Insidious 1) and his team @fracturedfxinc.”
Wan added that while the “only fully finished shot with CGI wings in place” was “really grand and epic”, the creature “felt out of place within the Conjuring world we had built.” Thus The Nun was created and brought in during additional photography, during which the “painting on the wall” set-piece was filmed and the Nun was digitally placed into existing scenes.
While we won’t know just how the original Valak would have been received, Wan’s decision to bring in a demon nun was a beneficial one, providing the horror hit with a creepy-AF entity – and one that would go on to have its own spinoff/prequel film in 2018. The Nun 2 has been lined up for a September 2023 release.