In the original thriller, directed by James Wan, Annabelle is just one of several possessed artifacts that paranormal investigators Ed (Patrick Wilson) and Lorraine Warren (Vera Farmiga) keep locked away in their basement. No story details were given regarding the spin-off, or whether it will be a prequel that charts this evil doll's origin.
The Conjuring director of photography John R. Leonetti has signed on to direct. It isn't known who is providing the screenplay, although The Conjuring writers Chad Hayes and Carey Hayes will not be involved in the spin-off. Production is scheduled to begin in the spring of 2014.
In related news, our report from July revealed that Chad Hayes and Carey Hayes are writing The Conjuring 2, but it isn't known if James Wan will return. The filmmaker is currently shooting Fast & Furious 7, and while the studio is trying to get him to come back, they will move on with or without him.
The Conjuring took in over $316 million worldwide during its theatrical run this summer.