I thought it was just a sight-gag, a joke, a paying of homage when Annabelle showed up in AQUAMAN. After all, James Wan directed that film and is the overseer of all things relating to THE CONJURING. As it turns out, though, it was much more than just a one-time tribute. Annabelle also pops up in SHAZAM! Did you see her? When the cops arrive after Billy Batson robs the pawn shop, you can see Annabelle sitting up on a shelf.
Okay, so it *is* a tribute, too. Director David Sandberg, who helmed SHAZAM!, also directed ANNABELLE: CREATION, the much superior sequel to the original spinoff starring the possessed dolly. But it also opens the door for some great opportunities—if the guys in suits in offices can work out the legalese. Imagine John Constantine showing up in a THE CONJURING film! Imagine the Warrens, the fictional onscreen ghostbusters inspired by the real-life couple, having to contend with Mr. Mxyzptlk! Imagine if one of Jigsaw’s crime sprees was investigated by Batman! None of that will likely happen, but wouldn’t it be awesome if it did? Horror movies and superheroes were the two defining influences of my childhood. I would be in geek heaven.