Director Michael Chaves made a deliberate choice not to bring back Demián Bichir’s character, Father Burke, in “The Nun II.” This decision was discussed in a recent interview with Collider. In the latest installment of The Conjuring Universe, the menacing demon Valak returns, unleashing a spree of brutal killings targeting priests and nuns across Europe in pursuit of a mysterious artifact. Taissa Farmiga leads the cast, reprising her role, along with Bonnie Aarons as the titular entity. However, fans of the Conjuring Universe have noticed the absence of Father Burke, a central character in the previous film.
Chaves explained that he considered various ideas for bringing Father Burke back, including turning him into a zombie, but ultimately dismissed these ideas during the movie’s development. Instead, “The Nun II” reveals that Father Burke died four years after the events of the first film, succumbing to cholera after being promoted to the position of a bishop. This occurred following his successful efforts with Irene to stop Valak’s malevolent actions at the Romanian monastery.
In Father Burke’s absence, Irene partners with Sister Debra, a young noviciate, to investigate Valak’s new wave of killings. This partnership helps Irene strengthen her faith, mirroring Father Burke’s journey in the previous film.
While it may have been possible for Father Burke to return, his presence might not have added to the sequel’s quality. The first film provided closure for both Father Burke and Irene. Irene took her vows to become a nun before facing Valak, and Father Burke came to terms with his past failures. Additionally, Valak takes on the form of a person’s greatest fear, making Father Burke’s inclusion less fitting for Irene’s haunting. With Taissa Farmiga’s character taking on a mentor role and further exploring her family backstory, Father Burke’s absence allowed for fresh storytelling and prevented unnecessary expansions of existing characters.
In summary, the director’s decision not to bring back Father Burke in “The Nun II” was a deliberate choice to maintain the narrative integrity of the Conjuring Universe and allow for the development of new and compelling storylines.