The writers of “The Conjuring” films Chad and Carey Hayes are developing a new horror franchise of films inspired by the stories of the haunted LaLaurie Mansion in the French Quarter of New Orleans.
The two brothers will tell the history of the house and its crazed owner, Madame Delphine LaLaurie across multiple film installments, and the intention is for principal photography to begin in 2020.
The LaLaurie Mansion is considered one of the most haunted houses in the world and has been closed to the public since 1932, but it remains a popular tourist attraction. The house’s owner Madame LaLaurie was a New Orleans socialite and serial killer who tortured and murdered enslaved persons hidden away in her house all while being the center of attention as the host of extravagant parties.
In 1834, an enslaved person chained to the stove set the house on fire, fearing her fate would end on the third floor of the house, where many of the victims would be led to never return. Firefighters discovered the horrors in the hidden rooms on the third floor and Madame LaLaurie fled the city, never to be seen again.
Kathy Bates portrayed a fictionalized version of Madame LaLaurie on “American Horror Story: Coven,” and her history has been well-known in popular culture. But the Hayes brothers intend to give a deep dive to the house’s history in the 19th century and its more fantastical and horrific modern history.
The Hayes brothers are partnering with Cindy Bond and Doug McKay of Faster Horse Pictures along with Michael Whalen, who purchased and owns the house, all serving as producers. Joshua Ryan Dietz and Dylan Bond are serving as executive producers. Local historian Andrew Ward is consulting on the project.
The writers are even entertaining the idea of doing the first draft of the screenplay inside the house, with the hope of filming some of the movies on site.
“The LaLaurie Mansion is as scary a place as there is in the world and we won’t hold back in giving audiences the full effect. Chad and Carey will have their hands full, but they are true masters in cinematic retellings of disturbing material. We wouldn’t want this diabolical material in the hands of anyone else,” McKay said in a statement.
“Building a horror franchise starts with the IP, and for us to be able to tap the LaLaurie Mansion, and its twisted history, is a major coup for Faster Horse. Put in the hands of such gifted storytellers like Chad and Carey, we feel there are many chapters to tell – one frightening occurrence after the next,” Bond said in a statement.
“We love writing films in which we get to tell true stories – incorporating moments that people can look up and discover did in fact happen. With the LaLaurie House we get to do exactly that… there is a wealth of documentation of a very dark and frightening past of true events. Not to mention that after spending some time there, what we personally experienced was truly unnerving. We haven’t been this excited about a project since ‘The Conjuring,'” the Hayes brothers jointly said in a statement.
David Boyle negotiated the deal for Faster Horse. Chad Hayes and Carey Hayes are represented by Circle of Confusion and law firm McKuin Frankel Whitehead.
The LaLaurie project will be the second film project from Faster Horse. The company launched just last month from producers Bond (“I Can Only Imagine”) and McKay (“What to Expect When You’re Expecting,” “Zodiac”), who revealed their debut film project would be as Tate Taylor’s “American Pain.”