WARNING! Major spoilers for The Craft: Legacy ahead.
Blumhouse Productions’ The Craft: Legacy is the long awaited sequel to the cult classic 1996 horror movie, The Craft, and features a surprise cameo from one of the most iconic characters. When the first trailer dropped in September of 2020, it revealed that Fairuza Balk’s Nancy Downs would somehow be involved in the storyline. Nancy’s relationship to the newest member of the coven, Lily (Cailee Spaeny), is an interesting connection that opens the sequel up for future franchise potential. Here’s what Nancy Downs means to the reboot as well as the future of The Craft movie series.
The Craft follows a group of three witches as they await their fourth to complete their coven. When Sarah Bailey (Robin Tunney) comes to town, Nancy Downs, Bonnie Harper (Neve Campbell), and Rochelle Zimmerman’s (Rachel True) foursome is finally complete, but it doesn’t take long for one of them to use their powers for harm against others. The original movie takes on a much darker tone than Zoe Lister-Jones’s reboot. In the 1996 movie, three out of the four witches used their powers for selfish reasons or revenge. The Craft: Legacy portrays four innocent women who are completely unaware of the strength that Manon has passed down to their newest member, Lily, and her blood legacy. They appear to be using their magic for good, and even bind each other when they believe they’ve caused harm. In The Craft, Nancy is bound by Sarah in an attempt to keep herself and others safe, but Manon has gifted her with powers beyond belief.
When Fairuza Balk first appeared in the trailer, it was speculated that she could be related to one of the witches or would serve as an omen against using magic for evil or selfish purposes. As it turns out, Lily was adopted; her birth mother is none other than Nancy Downs. Lily was adopted by Helen (Michelle Monaghan) when she was a nurse watching over the then pregnant Nancy, who requested Helen take Lily and raise her with good intentions. At the end of the movie, Lily finally meets her mother, which provides the opportunity for Blumhouse to make another sequel. Here’s what Nancy Downs’ return means for the future of The Craft movies.
The Craft: Legacy confirmed that Nancy Downs is Lily’s mother, but what does that mean for the movie series? This big reveal could offer several possibilities if Blumhouse chooses to make a sequel. Adam, portrayed by The X-Files’ David Duchovny, states that Lily’s real mother is “tied up in a different way“. While this could mean that Nancy’s stay at the hospital is permanent, it’s far more likely that he is alluding to her magic being bound, but Sarah wasn’t successful when she attempted it in The Craft. Instead, this statement could mean Adam bound Nancy’s powers that the Pagan deity, Manon, bestowed upon her. Adam is a strong witch whose powers seem to be passed down through generations, so he could possibly have the strength to accomplish this.
Helen makes it clear that Nancy has spent a lot of time reflecting on the evil she inflicted on her coven. This is based on the fact that she asks Lily’s adoptive mother to never reveal who her true mother is, and to ensure that her daughter uses her gifts for good. It’s possible that Nancy will later be able to offer some form of insight into the workings of Manon in another movie. Her involvement in The Craft: Legacy also offers the opportunity for the other three original cast members to return. While it may not be likely, it’s still a possibility depending on where the director chooses to take The Craft‘s story in the future, if there’s a continuation.
While Nancy Downs’s cameo role could mean several things in regard to The Craft movie franchise, and the big reveal was enough to create numerous theories, one major question remains unanswered: who is Lily’s father? Helen doesn’t seem to know, and it appears as though Nancy kept it a secret. The future of The Craft: Legacy may reveal an all new relationship between Adam, Manon, and Nancy that could, in turn, further explain who Lily’s real father is, and how she received Manon’s gifts.