Director James Wan is set to return to the world of horror for his next project Malignant, which has just been handed out a prime summer 2020 release date. Wan has gone on to be an incredibly valuable filmmaker over the course of the last decade and a half, ever since his breakthrough debut Saw. After having directed a couple of massive blockbusters, Wan decided to step back to his horror roots with his latest, which Warner Bros./New Line Cinema seem to have a great deal of confidence in.

According to a new report, Malignant is set to hit theaters on August 14, 2020. That's not only a premium slot on the studio's late-summer release calendar, which shows a decent deal of confidence in itself, but it's also a crowded weekend. Sony has set Escape Room 2 for that same date, which could be competing for much of the same James Wan type crowd. Universal also has a thriller titled Nobody, which features Breaking Bad and Better Call Saul star Bob Odenkrik in the lead, and Disney will release The One and Only Ivan. While it's not a Marvel movie or a live-action remake, it's still Disney, which makes it major competition.

With that in mind, unless one or two of these titles shifts away from that date, it's going to be one heck of a duel. That said, Malignant has more than a few things going for it. For one, it's going to be a smaller scale horror movie, meaning it's not going to have a massive budget to recoup. There is also a great deal of excitement for James Wan, the director of Saw, Insidious, The Conjuring and the criminally underrated Dead Silence, making his return to the genre. Wan most recently directed Aquaman, which went on to earn more than $1.1 billion at the global box office. He also helmed Furious 7, which took in a staggering $1.5 billion globally.

RELATED: James Wan's New Horror Movie Is an Old School Hard-R Original with Practical Effects

Plot details for this one remain mysterious, but it's filming now in Los Angeles. The cast includes Annabelle Wallis, Maddie Hasson, George Young, Michole Briana White, Jake Abel and Jacqueline McKenzie. Ingrid Bisu, who previously worked with James Wan as an actress in The Nun, wrote the screenplay and will also star. Wan is producing via his Atomic Monster production company.

James Wan is the architect behind The Conjuring universe, so one might wonder if this is secretly going to be included in that franchise. Unless something changes, Wan has promised it's an original, R-rated movie with practical effects. Beyond that, we're left to wonder what he's got in store for us. Wan decided to fit this into his schedule before the massive undertaking that is Aquaman 2, which he's expected to direct as well. We'll be sure to keep you posted as further details on the project are made available. This news was previously reported by Variety.

Ryan Scott at Movieweb
Ryan Scott