Annabelle was a serviceable horror film that actually did a few interesting things with horror movie themes. It also made a crap ton of money, which usually means a sequel right off the bat, but that didn’t happen. It’s taken a couple of years for the The Conjuring spin-off to pick up and again, but now it is.
Gary Dauberman, who wrote the screenplay for the original, is returning, which means we may get another film with social subtexts. However, original director John Leonetti will most likely not be available meaning we may see some new blood come in if producer James Wan has anything to say about it. The guy is good at tapping new talent.
It remains a bit of a mystery as to when the movie will take place. The first film took place in 1969 and we know the doll ends up with Ed and Lorraine Warren in 1971. That gives about two years to have another person find it and get scared. Maybe they’ll just take it after The Conjuring, but then you may run into continuity problems with that movie’s sequel.