Does The Nun’s casting of Taissa Farmiga serve as a connection to The Conjuring universe?

The Nun, photo credit: Cos Aelenei, via WB Media Pass
The Nun, photo credit: Cos Aelenei, via WB Media Pass /

Taissa Farmiga stars in the recently released horror movie The Nun, a spin-off prequel to The Conjuring franchise which stars her older sister Vera Farmiga. Coincidence or a hidden message?

I keep hearing about this topic around the web and day-by-day it’s gaining more and more popularity. Personally, I hate when fans strain to see connections that aren’t there, like the Star Wars fanatics who threaten to disembowel you if you don’t agree Rey is related to whoever Jedi they like the most. But in the case of The Nun and The Conjuring movies, I got to say that they have a point. Even if the connection is a little lacking in the evidence department.

Let me break it down for you: It’s all because of the Farmiga sisters and a curious casting choice. Vera Farmiga stars as Lorraine Warren in the 2013 horror film The Conjuring and its sequel, The Conjuring 2. Both films are based on real ghost hauntings Lorraine and her husband, Ed Warren, investigated.

In the films Lorraine has a psychic connection to the spirit world and has visions of ghosts and demons. If you’ve seen either Conjuring movie then you know what I’m talking about. She’s a mix between Haley Joel Osment’s “I see dead people” and Carrie White’s stressed out powerhouse.

In The Conjuring 2, a demonic nun, known as Valak, haunts and torments Lorraine Warren. Valak’s reign of terror ends at the end of the movie, but now lets jump ahead to the demon’s personal origins story. The Nun which just happens to star Vera Farmiga’s younger sister, Taissa Farmiga. You wouldn’t need a DNA test to tell you these two are sisters, the resemblance is uncanny.

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Set in 1952, The Nun is about a young novitiate, Irene, who, like Lorraine, also had visions of Valak disguised as a nun. There appears to be no clear connection between Irene and Lorraine, other than the fact that they’re both white women, devoutly religious and have psychic abilities. However, one can’t help but study the few connections The Nun gives us.

The films are set twenty years apart, which is the exact age difference between the Farmiga sisters. Then comes the character Maurice “Frenchie” Theriault, who has a supporting role in The Nun and a cameo in The Conjuring in one of the Warren’s lecture videos. Frenchie was friends with Irene and when he saw Lorraine he practically jumped on her.

Are all these clues to a larger connection? Or is it wishful thinking because The Nun was a bit of a disappointment?

The biggest reason many fans want there to be a connection between Lorraine and Irene is because of the frustrating ending The Nun gave us.

Spoilers ahead!

The end of The Nun showed sweet Irene going on her way after defeating the demon, unaware that her friend Frenchie was possessed by Valak. The final scene in the movie jumped ahead twenty years when the Warrens show a clip of Frenchie getting exorcised. He grabs onto Lorraine and whispers in her ear and she starts screaming.

That’s the end of the movie and fans felt like they were left hanging. How did the Warrens find Frenchie? Why did Valak attach himself to Lorraine? Why were both women haunted by the same nun? These are questions I’m sure the directors either thought of and thought were fun to include, or they didn’t think about them at all and just didn’t bother filling up the loopholes.

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Photo Credit: The Conjuring 2, Acquired From New Line Cinema. /

The casting choice is confusing and a missed opportunity for The Conjuring universe if there turns out to be no connection between the two (which there most likely isn’t). I love Taissa Farmiga and thought she did an excellent job playing Irene, however, they could have casted anyone as Irene, there are thousands of talented young actresses in Hollywood who would have done a good job. Instead, they not only chose an actress who is Vera Farmiga’s mini-me but also casted her as a character that’s strangely similar to Lorraine Warren.

HOLLYWOOD, CA – DECEMBER 07: Actors Taissa Farmiga (L) and Vera Farmiga attend The Hollywood Reporter’s Annual Women in Entertainment Breakfast in Los Angeles at Milk Studios on December 7, 2016 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images for The Hollywood Reporter )
HOLLYWOOD, CA – DECEMBER 07: Actors Taissa Farmiga (L) and Vera Farmiga attend The Hollywood Reporter’s Annual Women in Entertainment Breakfast in Los Angeles at Milk Studios on December 7, 2016 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images for The Hollywood Reporter ) /

The younger Farmiga would have been perfect for a young Lorraine if they ever made a spin-off about the Warrens when they met or when they went on their first case, like the Scooby Gang early-years type of prequel.

Reasons why Lorraine and Irene are probably not the same person

The Conjuring movies and their spin-offs are a blend of facts and fiction. The Warrens are real and their cases are supposedly real, but the details surrounding each case are made up, exaggerated or stretched out for a longer story. Since the details of each haunting is vague the films add a more solid story for audiences to follow. The story of the family The Conjuring was based on features much amplification as does the movies about the Annabelle doll.

Some aspects of The Nun movie are based on fact. The “real” nun that the Warrens encountered was at a haunted Borley church in southern England in the 1970s. After learning about a string of events at the church, the Warrens went to investigate. They ended up coming face-to-face with the churchyard’s ghost who was a nun buried alive in the brick walls of the convent centuries ago after having an affair with a monk.

So, this means Lorraine actually did have some interactions with a ghostly nun, but she didn’t battle with it in a nunnery or haunted house. Still, the movies tend to keep the strongest facts in check and one of those facts is, Lorraine Warren never became a nun, nor did she ever work towards becoming one. In 1952, she had already married Ed Warren and the two were starting New England Society for Psychic Research.

Even if none of that was true, let’s not forget that when Lorraine saw Valak for the first time in The Conjuring 2 she looked shocked, confused and frightened, not at all like she recognized the figure. And this is just a small detail, but Lorraine has blue eyes and Irene has brown, so unless she went on the run and got colored contacts, I don’t think they’re the same person.

But then again, when has film ever followed history to the point of accuracy?

Why we shouldn’t rule out other types of connection

Why shouldn’t we rule it out? Well because the director himself said so. Corin Hardy told CinemaBlend,

"“It wasn’t intentional to begin with, and then obviously I cast Taissa, which was only because she was so good and she had to have the role. Then it was like, ‘Well, they do look very similar.’ When we were watching some of the scenes, you know, when she’s digging up the grave, it was like, ‘Wow, she looks so much like Vera here.’ And they share a unique brilliant quality, I think – almost the ability to project a supernatural happening. They have something unique, those Farmigas. But it’s something I think possibly could be still explored.”"

Then on top of that, when screenwriter Gary Dauberman spoke to CinemaBlend, he said something similar,

"“Once we realized we were going to go with Taissa – who is just such a talent on her own, and she’s fantastic – it sort of just invited the creative discussions of ‘Are they related in some way? Or what is the relationship with her to the Warrens?’ I think that’s stuff maybe we could explore further down the road if we want to. I mean, I certainly have ideas in my head about that. I think James [Wan] does as well. I’m not confirming one way or the other, but I think there certainly could possibly be connections if we wanted to go that route.”"

It’d be a perfect connection. Not as the same person but as a family relation; cousins or a powerful bloodline both women hail from. If Lorraine’s and Irene’s physical similarities mean anything, then I like to think that the demon Valak mistook the two or simply saw a woman who resembled the one who almost defeated him and decided to toy with her.

The Nun, movies,
The Nun, Courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures via WB Media Pass /

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Those in charge of The Conjuring universe might use this for later, like they used Valak to make a separate movie, or like how they’re going to make a whole movie based on that creepy toy, “The Crooked Man.” Spin-offs and hidden messages is what they love. Why not have Vera and Taissa Farmiga appear together onscreen, teaming up to fight some evil? They’ve already exaggerated the cases, why not do the same with some characters, doesn’t have to be completely accurate.

My overall judgement is that Lorraine and Irene have no connection and both sisters being in the franchise is a case of a simple coincidence.

Did you think there was a connection or do is this a case of fans not willing to accept that The Nun just had a bizarre choice in casting?