James DeMonaco probably didn’t know what he was creating back in 2013 when he released the first Purge movie. The film, which starred Ethan Hawke and Lena Headey, was made on a $3 million budget and it took home almost $90 million at the box office.
What does that mean? It means it was the start of a franchise. The Purge: Anarchy was released just one year later in 2014, and it made over $110 million at the box office. The third film in the franchise, The Purge: Election Year, earned nearly $120 million at the box office last year.
So as you can see, the franchise has been a huge success for DeMonaco, and it shows no signs of stopping. The Purge 4, titled Purge: The Island, is scheduled to be released July 4, 2018.
And while DeMonaco wrote the script for it, he will not be directing it. But still, he’s obviously heavily involved in the project, and he revealed that this fourth film will be set on Staten Island during the first ever Purge night…
“It’s 90 percent black people. So yeah, you get a little daunted. Like, ‘What am I — Italian guy from Staten Island — what am I bringing to this?’ But hopefully I’m telling the universal story. I was wondering how you get people to stay for the first Purge, and what they do is they start monetizing it. People from Staten Island can easily go to Brooklyn for the evening, so what they do is start promising very decent sums of money for the very poor people in the neighborhood. It becomes a monetization of murder and violence, incentivizing killing and keeping people around for them to be victims.”
DeMonaco also talked about the TV show, which will be set “in the middle” of the Purge timelines. The filmmaker admits he’s very excited for the TV series because it allows them to focus more on the characters.
“We’re going back six months or two years or into their childhood to see some things that might’ve fed into their decision-making on this particular Purge. The long form is actually allowing it to become more of a character study, which is kind of cool, instead of a singular event of surviving the night.”
The TV show is set to be released next year on USA and SYFY.