This is the first film in the The Conjuring (2013) franchise in which Ed and Lorraine Warren are not featured or mentioned in any way.
David F. Sandberg was initially reluctant to direct the film, due to his general dislike of horror sequels. He changed his mind when it was clear he would be making a standalone prequel, with no major obligations to connect it to the larger franchise beyond a few brief references to the other films.
Originally scheduled to be released on May 19, 2017, but was moved to August 11, 2017 to avoid competition with Alien: Covenant (2017).
The design of the framework around the front door of the farmhouse shows regular crosses and upside down crosses, which may symbolize how there's both holy influence and dark forces at war in the home.
The woman who played the adult Annabelle Higgins is usually a stunt woman and has been a stunt for Vera Farmiga in the other Conjuring films. She also played the adult Annabelle Higgins in the first Annabelle film.