In the new, Summer Movie Preview issue of Entertainment Weekly, Insidious: Chapter 3 writer-director Leigh Whannell reveals that the third entry in the horror franchise is a prequel which takes place in 2008. That setting has allowed Whannell—who is making his directorial debut after writing the first two Insidious movies for longtime collaborator James Wan—to revive Lin Shaye’s medium Elise. The latter died at the end of the original Insidious and appeared as a ghost in the second film but now, thanks to the rules of prequel-ism, gets to help a new, paranormally-tormented family, whose members include characters played by Dermot Mulroney and Stefanie Scott.
But what about the future of the franchise? Has Whannell given any thought to what might happen in subsequent chapters? As it happens, he has. “This third film really sets up the Insidious universe to go on, if it was successful enough,” says the filmmaker, who also plays the Elise-assisting Specs in the horror series. “Now you have Elise, the central character, as a medium, and she has her two kind of bumbling assistants, and you have all these years between the third film and the first movie: You’ve got 2009, 2010. Great years! I can imagine [it] being set up as almost a James Bond-esque franchise where Elise goes into different situations with different families, and is fighting or defeating these different demons. As far as it actually happening? I’m not sure yet. I’m actually quite superstitious about films [before they are] released. I always have been, but that’s gone into overdrive now I’m a director.”
You can read more about Insidious: Chapter 3 and the rest of this summer’s major movies in the new issue of Entertainment Weekly. And you can see the film’s trailer below.