On the surface, The Purge would seem like a fairly singular theatrical event. The concept of one carnage-filled night a year works wonders in two-hour stretches, but would anyone ever be crazy enough try it as serialized TV? We might find out, as director James DeMonaco is reportedly developing an “interwoven anthology” series around The Purge franchise.
In 2013, The Purge introduced an interesting horror concept: In the not-too-distant future, the government allows citizens to commit violent crimes for one night each year. That first film featured a nice white suburban family besieged by yuppie college kids, only fleetingly paying any mind to more fascinating ideas about class warfare. The Purge: Anarchy further established the mythology of the franchise by weaving a “one percent vs. the 99 percent” element into a tale of revenge. In 2016, we have The Purge: Election Year, which turns the sociopolitical commentary up to 11 in the most ridiculous, relevant installment of the series yet. Far from nuanced allegory, the sequel splits the difference between satire and low-brow camp in a film that could just as easily be The Idiot’s Guide to Being Woke in 2016.
Violence in the streets. Civic unrest. Intractable ideological divisions. Is this the latest installment of The Purge or a documentary about the 2016 election?
We had a new ‘Purge’ film two years in a row, which was very much in keeping with the franchise’s fictional reality in which for one night, every year, citizens “purge” and murder the hell out of each other—if, you know, they’re into that. If you were hoping to see ‘The Purge 3’ hit theaters this year to deliver your annual dose of dystopian violence, sorry, but you’ll just have to wait one more year because this year’s ‘Purge’ has been delayed.
This summer's 'The Purge: Anarchy' bucked just about every horror sequel trend imaginable. It was not only bigger and better than the 2013 original, it made more money. With a worldwide gross of $110 million on a budget of less than $10 million, there was never a moment of doubt that Universal, Blumhouse productions and writer/director James DeMonaco would pull a part three together. And here we are: 'The Purge 3' is now being developed.
James DeMonaco is well aware of your complaints. Yes, the first installment of 'The Purge' (which DeMonaco directed) was a box office behemoth, grossing just under $90 million on a budget of only $3 million. 'The Purge' should have been a feel-good success story ... and then those Cinemascores came rolling in and, as it turns out, the audience that showed up to see 'The Purge" wound up kind of despising 'The Purge.'
In the mid ‘90s, Robin Williams was starting to take some risks. He had just filmed two crowd-pleasers in a row – ‘Mrs. Doubtfire’ and ‘Jumanji’ – and it was apparent that he was looking for something, let’s say, meatier. And Williams would later find those roles with ‘The Birdcage’ and ‘Good Will Hunting’ (a movie that would win him an Academy Award). But, before that, Williams eyed a script that had been the subject of a bidding war between every major studio in town. After Disney won the rights, Williams convinced director Francis Ford Coppola to direct. On the surface, it appeared to be a prestige project. But that project turned out to be ‘Jack’ – a movie about a young boy who, by the age of 10, appears to be 40 -- a now almost legendary critical failure that was written by James DeMonaco … the man who also wrote and directed a movie nothing like 'Jack,' ‘The Purge’ and its upcoming sequel.