The Purge has proved to be a really lucrative franchise, which culminated with The Purge: Election Year over the summer. And since money talks, the popular horror series is far from over. According to franchise creator James DeMonaco, not only is a fourth movie on the way, but a TV series based on The Purge is also in development.
Fair warning, if you have not yet seen The Purge: Election Year and plan to, this article will contain minor spoilers for the movie. In a recent interview with CinemaBlend, James DeMonaco, who directed all three movies in the franchise so far, revealed that there are indeed plans for a fourth movie. The Purge: Election Year ended with the annual crime friendly holiday being abolished, so it didn't seem very likely that there would be a follow-up. That is true, because the fourth Purge movie will be a prequel, according to the director, but he likely won't be at the helm this time around. Here is what he had to say.
"I don't think I'll direct it. I would actually go back and I would try to talk about how it all started. That seems the natural next chapter in this, is to say, 'Alright, we've done this trilogy. We see how it got to this point of someone trying to end it - this presidential figure. Now let's go back and see how the fuck all this came about.' How did this country get to a place where we were now accepting this kind of atrocity, this terrible thing, each year? I think there's something interesting in that. I don't think I'll direct, between you and I. You can print that, I mean. I'm thinking of maybe writing or at least producing it, to make sure it stays true to what I like about the movies."
The Purge does have a very rich history to tap into. None of the movies have fully explored the origin of the messed-up annual event, only that things in America got pretty bad and that The Purge was somehow a good solution to those problems. While some may think that they mystery is part of the charm, it definitely seems like a worthwhile place to take the franchise as opposed to undercutting the well-earned ending to The Purge: Election Year.
As excited as fans may be for another movie in The Purge franchise, James DeMonaco actually seems to have a pretty cool idea for the TV show, which he was approached to develop. According to the director, the series will be an anthology style series with six or seven interwoven story lines that will intersect at various points and will implement flashbacks to fill in the gaps. Here is what he had to say about the show.
"The idea of why I like the idea of a maybe 10 hour TV thing on this, the one thing you really can't do on the films is, just because of mere real estate and time, is you can't get into the nuance and complexity that would drive someone to commit a terrible act on this night. Whether it's revenge or out of passion, but what might be interesting in a TV show is with a flashback narrative, if you start on Purge Night but you go back to show how people have gotten to where they are. Where you see a couple that's gone haywire on this night, but let's show everything that's led up to this moment of a husband trying to kill a wife -- the cheating or the accusations of cheating or money problems. It will be interesting to show those arcs, those dramatic and complex arcs that get people to where they pick up a gun or a knife and kill someone else. I think there's something cool that we can do with the real estate of TV -- 10 hours, potentially."
Even though The Purge movies haven't been met with critical praise, for the most part, they have done incredibly well at the box office. The series has grossed $316 million worldwide, which is even more impressive when the very tiny budgets are factored in. The first movie had a budget of just $3 million and grossed an impressive $89 million. So it makes total sense that Blumhouse, the production company behind the series, would want to continue to keep the money coming in. There is no word on an anticipated timeline for either project, but we can assume that the movie probably won't take all that long to get going. We will be sure to keep you up to date as more details on The Purge 4 prequel and TV series become available.