Instead of an increasingly-common, in-credits "stinger" scene, theatergoers who saw The First Purge following it's 4th of July release were treated to a promo for The Purge TV series, set to hit small screens this fall. Producers at Universal did attendees at Comic-Con one better, dropping a full-length trailer on fans of the franchise launched by James DeMonaco in 2013. In between scenes of random violence and opportunistic villainy, it asks: Is there anything more "American" than purging-and what would you do?
While some may be wondering if the property has any fuel left in the tank, The Purge mastermind DeMonaco previously gushed over the upcoming series, hinting it's breathing new life into the entire franchise. Though he stepped away from the director's chair for the first time in The First Purge, he's the driving force behind the 10-episode chaos set to unleash on September 4th. He told Entertainment Weekly last May:
"About five months ago, I would have said that [I was done with The Purge movies]," he explained. "Then we started writing all these scripts for Purge TV, and I realized how many Purge stories could be told, and what it is a metaphor for, and realized, maybe not? I don't know if I'll direct any more but I do like still writing Purge, so I think maybe, maybe."
Not only does the premise of The Purge make it incredibly versatile and adaptable, it somehow managers to become more timely and relevant with each iteration. The first two chapters, The Purge and The Purge: Anarchy, produced during the Obama presidency, explored themes of paranoia, catharsis, and classism in muted undertones. The Purge: Election Year was released in 2016, the same year America was experiencing the most bizarre and divisive presidential campaign in our country's history; it can hardly be considered a coincidence that the film's tag-ling "Keep America Great" was blisteringly close to Trump's campaign slogan. Though The First Purge is a prequel, it addresses issues of racism and political manipulation with all the subtlety of a sledge-hammer, making a clear parallel to an overt resurgence in dangerous nationalism.
As such, The Purge TV series stands find resonance with many young, disenfranchised yet politically motivated millennials, as well as longtime horror fans alike. The Purge is one of Blumhouse Studios flagship properties and this marks the debut venture of the company's new division, Blumhouse TV. If the foray proves critically and financially successful, it could lead to additional small-screen content from the maverick studio that redefined both the genre and the market in the 21st Century.
Here's the synopsis:
Based on the hit movie franchise from Blumhouse productions, The Purge revolves around a 12-hour period when all crime, including murder, is legal. Set in a dystopian America ruled by a totalitarian political party, the series follows several seemingly unrelated characters living in a small city. Tying them all together is a mysterious savior who's impeccably equipped for everything the night throws at them. As the clock winds down with their fates hanging in the balance, each character is forced to reckon with their pasts as they discover how far they will go to survive the night.
The Purge TV series will star Amanda Warren, Colin Woodell (Unsane), Gabriel Chavarria, and Jessica Garza. Emmy and Golden Globe award-winner Anthony Hemingway is directed and producing the first episode.