The Nun II Director Michael Chaves reveals his visual influences for the film, what is like tackling sequels, and more, in this interview.
The Nun II is now available to own on digital, and will be released on Blu-ray, DVD, and 4K on November 14th.
We caught up with The Nun II Director Michael Chaves to discuss the film ahead of its home release. He reveals his inspirations for the unique visuals in the film, such as the iconic magazine stand. Michael also talks about taking on sequels and what that preparation is like, as well as why he thinks people love horror, in this interview.
Synopsis: Taissa Farmiga returns as Sister Irene, joined by Jonas Bloquet, Storm Reid, Anna Popplewell and Bonnie Aarons, surrounded by an ensemble cast of international talent. Michael Chaves directs, from a screenplay by Ian Goldberg & Richard Naing and Akela Cooper, with a story by Cooper, based on characters created by James Wan & Gary Dauberman.
Michael Chaves (Director) made his feature directorial debut in 2019 with The Curse of La Llorona for New Line Cinema, which earned more than $123 million at the global box office. Chaves went on to direct The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It, with Atomic Monster and The Safran Company producing.
The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It is the eighth film in The Conjuring Universe, which has generated more than $2.1 billion worldwide and is the largest horror franchise in history.
An accomplished commercial director, Chaves has directed spots for such clients as Microsoft, Samsung, Audi and Ford. He also directed Billie Eilish’s acclaimed “Bury a Friend” music video.
Michael Chaves Talks The Nun II
Mama’s Geeky: One of my favorite things about this film is the visuals, like the magazine stand. What was the inspiration for that?
Michael Chaves: Honestly just research of street photography of the times. I was looking at a bunch of street photography, because I grew up in California and I have been to Europe a handful of times in my life. I think my fear of just not getting it right was kind of looming over me, and I just thought I want this to feel like you’ve been transported in time in this movie.
So I was just going through all the street photography of France and Spain, and I kept on seeing all of these news stands, and I was like, Oh, my God, this is an amazing relic of the time, and I just thought, I gotta try and incorporate this in.
And if I knew how hard it was, I don’t know if I would do it again. Because it was such an undertaking. It was literally the first idea I came up with in the movie, in a really early draft, I pitched the idea. And it was literally the last thing that we finished. It was like within the last couple of days, we got that final VFX shot and we were able to get it into the movie. It was a nightmare.
Mama’s Geeky: How do you prepare when you are taking on a sequel?
Michael Chaves: I love the Conjuring universe. I thought Corin [Hardy] did an awesome job with that first movie, and there’s so much great stuff in it. What I really wanted to, when I rewatched his movie, I saw characters that I really loved. Of course, everybody loves Valak, everyone loves our villain. But I also loved Irene and Maurice and their friendship and flirtation, I thought was amazing.
I was like these are great characters. And I wanted to see them go further with that. I also, just from a stylistic standpoint, I saw so much of Bram Stoker’s Dracula. I know that Corin drew a lot of inspiration from that, and I was just thinking, how can you take that into the streets of Europe? How can you take, there’s a lot of great old school cinematic magic in that movie, and it even echoes silent movies.
There’s something about that, that has such like deep roots in cinema. And I was like, How can I get some of that magic in this? So I think it was drawing on all of those things, and how can we take the characters further? How can we can we go deeper into those stylistic roots and take those further? Because it’s almost like improv. It’s like storytelling improv where you’re just taking it and it’s like, yes and… How do you take that core idea and this core story and take it further? And you embrace what’s there and give the audience more.
Mama’s Geeky: What do you think it is about the horror genre that makes people love it so much?
Michael Chaves: I think it’s like a thrill ride. My favorite movie experiences have been thrill rides. And I think especially now, where streaming is so good, there’s so much great stuff on streaming and these great longer form stories. What makes a theatrical experience.
The theatrical experience today is a little different than it was pre-COVID. It’s a little different than it was 10 years ago, 20 years ago. It’s always evolving and I think horror really is delivering on this real… it’s a communal experience. It’s a reason to turn off your phones. It’s a reason to get together with people and, I think, it’s the thrill. It’s like being on a roller coaster.
NEXT: The Nun II Review
About The Nun II
In 1956 France, a priest is murdered, and it seems an evil is spreading. Sister Irene once again comes face to face with a demonic force.
Taissa Farmiga (“The Nun,” “The Gilded Age”) returns as Sister Irene, joined by Jonas Bloquet (“Tirailleurs,” “The Nun”), Storm Reid (“The Last of Us,” “The Suicide Squad”), Anna Popplewell (“Fairytale,” “The Chronicles of Narnia” trilogy) and Bonnie Aarons (reprising her role from “The Nun”), surrounded by an ensemble cast of international talent.
Michael Chaves (“The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It”) directs, from a screenplay by Ian Goldberg & Richard Naing (“Eli,” “The Autopsy of Jane Doe”) and Akela Cooper (“M3GAN,” “Malignant”),with a story by Cooper, based on characters created by James Wan & Gary Dauberman.
Tessa Smith is a Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer-approved Film and TV Critic. She is also a Freelance Writer. Tessa has been in the Entertainment writing business for almost ten years and is a member of several Critics Associations including the Critics Choice Association, Hollywood Critics Association, and the Greater Western New York Film Critics Association.