Blumhouse has built a tremendously successful production company on the backs of low-budget horror movies. One of their early successes was The Purge, a micro-budget horror/thriller with a tantalizingly original premise that made a boatload of money at the box office. That has resulted in a three movie Purge franchise, with more installments on the way. The Purge 4 is set to arrive in theaters on July 4, 2018, and Blumhouse has found a director for the project, tapping up-and-comer Gerard McMurray for the gig.
According to Variety, Gerard McMurray will be stepping in on The Purge 4 for James DeMonaco, who served as the writer and director for The Pruge, The Purge: Anarchy and The Purge: Election Year. He is also currently developing a Purge TV series, so this franchise is very much his baby, but he is letting that go to let a new filmmaker helm a major project that will help put him on the map. Bringing some fresh blood on board, if you will, should help The Purge feel a little more fresh if the studio plans to keep pumping these things out.
While no title has been announced for the movie, IMDB currently has it listed as The Purge: The Island. No story has been revealed by an official source, but the site claims the movie is 'a prequel that will focus on the events that lead up to the very first Purge event.' We've heard that the TV show based on the horror franchise is covering this same ground, so it's all a little bit up in the air.
Don't worry if you don't recognize Gerard McMurray by name. Most people wouldn't. At least not yet. His directorial debut Burning Sands premiered at the 2017 Sundance Film Festival and generated quite a bit of buzz. So much so that Netflix decided to step in and scoop it up, which is a pretty good sign. He also was credited as an associate producer on Ryan Coogler's critically acclaimed Fruitvale Station, so he has a couple of really solid credits to his name. Purge 4 is just allowing him to take a step into a much bigger thing. Granted, the budget will still probably be relatively small by Hollywood standards, but still. It is going to be a high-profile release.
To date, The Purge movies have made a combined $315 million which have cost a combined $23 million to make, which means they have been big time earners for the studio. So, they are likely to extend the franchise beyond The Purge 4 if they can. James DeMonaco will probably remain involved in some capacity, since The Purge is his baby, but it seems like his days directing the franchise are behind him. The Purge 4 is going to have some pretty stiff competition upon release, though. Marvel Studios is planning on releasing Ant-Man and the Wasp that same weekend on July 6, which has been stacking up an impressive cast. But any Marvel movie is pretty much going to blow away the competitors.
James DeMonaco isn't directing The Purge 4, which isn't the official title for the movie, but he is still writing the script. So it will be an authentic entry in the franchise, which centers on a government sanctioned annual holiday where Americans are allowed to commit any crime, including murder, for twelve hours. However, The Purge was abolished at the end of The Purge: Election Year, so it is unclear how that is going to be addressed in the upcoming sequel. There is no word on casting or plot details for The Purge 4 yet, but we will be sure to keep you up to date as more details on the project emerge.