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"People like to tell me ghost stories, for some reason," James Wan told the crowd after the world premiere of The Curse of La Llorona at SXSW Friday night when asked about how the centuries-old story of La Llorona (which translates to the weeping woman) came on his radar.
"When I first came to America, this was, literally, one of the first ghost stories people kept telling me," Wan explained. "So, I've been familiar with it for a while, and I'm a big fan of ghost stories and myths from all kinds of different cultures, and the fact that a movie about this hasn't been made -- at least at this level -- was something very interesting to do with the right people."
The right people, in this case, included first-time feature director Michael Chaves, who Wan hand-picked to helm La Llorona, which follows a widowed mother (Linda Cardellini) whose job as a caseworker ends up putting her kids square in the sights of the spirit.
While Chaves was given some room to craft his story, The Curse of La Llorona is filled with the same tense atmosphere broken up with reliable jump scares we've come to expect from any horror film in Wan's sandbox. Of course, La Llorona does go out of its way to assure everyone that it does, in fact, take place inside the larger Conjuring universe.
Speaking of, Chaves also talked about his continued role inside James Wan's cinematic universe as the director of The Conjuring 3. "These are some big shoes to fill, but we're taking it really seriously, and we're going to make an awesome film for you guys," Chaves said.
"I feel like I've done what I needed to do with The Conjuring, and I feel like Michael's this brand new voice, and he's going to add a lot to this world," Wan said. "It's a great script. I'm super involved in it as a producer and making sure we have great scares, and I'm super excited to see what Patrick [Wilson] and Vera [Farmiga] will do in Michael's hands."
The Curse of La Llorona will open in theaters on April 19th. Also, be sure to check out all of SYFY WIRE's SXSW coverage here.