If you’re a fan of The Conjuring movies, then you will be more than familiar with the demon Valak, who appeared in The Conjuring 2 (2016), as well as the spin-off movie, The Nun (2018). In the horror series, Valak takes on the form of a gruesome nun who becomes a fearsome foe to paranormal investigators, Ed and Lorraine Warren.

But did you know, during the making of The Conjuring 2, Valak had an entirely different look? In fact, the original design for the character was nothing like the monster that eventually made it onto the big screen and was instead inspired by Dracula!

In a recent Instagram post, director James Wan revealed the original design for Valak, which he called the ‘Horned Demon’. The frightening character was based on a concept design for an unproduced Castlevania movie, and as you can see below it was pretty creepy.

Image: ©James Wan/Warner Bros. Pictures
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What is perhaps most interesting about this version of Valak is that it wasn’t just a concept that was abandoned early doors, the Horned Demon was used throughout the shoot of the movie. It was only during the editing stages of the film that the Horned Demon was switched out for the Nun.

Revealing the details via Instagram, The Conjuring 2 director, James Wan said: “Aaron Sims (concept designer) and myself took inspiration from our Dracula design for a movie I was attached to a long time ago called Castlevania. @justin.raleigh/Fractured FX built an awesome animatronic suite, and we were going to augment it with CGI wings. But alas, during editing, I deemed this beautifully designed/sculpted horned demon too out of left-field for the film. It needed to be more grounded and personal – something that would take Lorraine’s faith and try to test/corrupt it.”

Wan continued: “I remember the real-life Lorraine Warren talking about her love and reverence for her nun friends, and a lightbulb went off – thus… the Demon Nun was born. So we went back and replaced all the Horned Demon with the Nun during additional photography.”

Image: ©James Wan/Warner Bros. Pictures
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So, what do you think? Would you have preferred to see the Horned Demon in The Conjuring 2, instead of the Nun?

Personally, I like both the Nun and the Horned Demon, but I must admit I really would have loved to see the Horned Demon on screen. But alas, now that Wan has revealed the design it is unlikely to ever appear in a Conjuring movie – especially considering that Wan is no longer directing entries in The Conjuring Universe.

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While a third Conjuring movie is due out in 2021 (having been pushed back from its 2020 release) Wan is not directing the picture; instead Michael Chaves is calling the shots for The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It. And according to Wan, he has no plans to return to the director’s chair anytime soon.

Speaking to an Instagram user about his move away from directing Conjuring movies, Wan said: “It was time for me to move on. I have never made 3 movies in the same series, plus I had given these two Conjuring films everything I got. I didn’t really have anything creative left to say. Maybe years from now, but definitely not currently.”

Oh, and for those wondering about that abandoned Castlevania project which Wan was once attached to, while it never got off the ground the director did reveal one key aspect of the film which long-time fans will be delighted to read. The movie would have featured fan-favourite character Simon Belmont as the lead.

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Thank you for stopping by It’s A Stampede! to read this post about The Conjuring 2 and the original design for Valak. For more gruesome posts, be sure to check out the recommended reads below.

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