If for twelve hours all crime was legalized, what would you do? Maybe you'd rob your local off-license, or maybe you'd vandalize your neighbors doormat, or maybe you'd decide to murder your political rival, avenge the death of your son or murder your husbands' mistress. In a nutshell, this is the premise of James DeMonaco's epic dystopian film thriller franchise The Purge, a franchise which, in one of the most exciting reveals of the year, is now going to make the jump to our small screens.
Set in motion after the monumental success of the series' first movie, 2013's The Purge, which became the lowest budget film to top the box office charts since nineteen eighty eight, DeMonaco went on to develop a thrilling trilogy which continued to improve on its profit margins with each new release. Now turning his attention to adapting the series to the television format, James has already started plotting how to make his epic lawless creation even more sinister than its movie counterparts - and we're literally gagging to see how he's going to do it.
'The Purge' Movie Franchise
After critically bombing quite spectacularly, gathering only a thirty seven percent rating on Rotten Tomatoes, The Purge clearly tapped into the cultural zeitgeist after making a colossal eighty nine million dollars at the box office on a three million dollar budget. From here DeMonaco and his team never looked back, creating horror hit after horror hit.
The Purge (2013)
Starring Ethan Hawke, Lena Headey, Adelaide Kane and Max Burkholder, The Purge follows a family who are being held hostage during the twelve hour 'purge' in which all crime is permitted. Needless to say, things don't go particularly well for them, especially when they realize their neighbors are harboring some deep seated, bordering pathological resentments.
The Purge: Anarchy (2014)
Due to the great success of The Purge, Universal and Blumhouse jumped on board for the development of its sequel. Set in 2023, The Purge: Anarchy takes us beyond the confines of a single house and instead shows a series of events which take place in LA during the period of the purge. The only character to reprise his role from the first film is Edwin Hodge who plays 'The Stranger' as the film follows Shane (Zach Gilford) on a mission to avenge the death of his son.
The Purge: Election Year (2016)
The final film in the trilogy, The Purge: Election Year follows the life of Charlie Roan who we met in the first movie, but now it's eighteen years later and she is a senator running for president and trying to end the tradition of 'The Purge.' Naturally, her opponents decide to use the twelve hours of lawless anarchy to try and murder her. Chaos ensues.
Making over one hundred and fifteen million dollars against a budget of just ten million, this third movie proved just a successful as its predecessors.
'The Purge' TV Spin Off
While speaking to CinemaBlend about the home release of The Purge: Election Year, DeMonaco inadvertently ended up sharing a much bigger piece of news with the world — that he's currently working on the TV adaptation of the series. When casually asked about whether he would consider converting The Purge to the small screen, DeMonaco unexpectedly said:
"They came to me about a TV show, my idea is that you do six or seven storylines. And I would kind of intercut them, use flashbacks.”
Once establishing that the idea was already in the works, he went on to gush about how the structure of a TV series will really allow him to get deeper into the psychology of his characters, both victims, perpetrators and those in-between:
"The idea of why I like the idea of a 10 hour TV thing on this, the one thing you really can't do on the films is get into the nuance and complexity that would drive someone to commit a terrible act on this night"
Consequently, we can expect The Purge's TV spin off to add a new level of sinister complexity by introducing a more in-depth exploration of the dark psyche that lurks within the show's characters. Elaborating on this point James went on to say:
“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....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.”
With the surprise reveal that the TV show had already received quite a good deal of thought, DeMonaco certified the likelihood of the project coming to fruition by suggesting that they were already at the stage of discussing the necessary budgets to get the first season off the ground:
“We're talking about deals right now, money is being spoken about. Things like that. So I think it's being taken very seriously from the higher-ups who obviously dictate everything.”
And with that, we are now eagerly holding our breath (but not for too long), for details on when we can expect to behold the horrific wonder of a possible ten hour long purging session.
What would you do with your 12 lawless purge hours?