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The Purge 3 might have been a sure thing once the big opening numbers for The Purge: Anarchy started to come in , but in the months after the project's announcement it seems like details have been changing left and right. First, the release date was shifted from its presumed slot in 2015 to July 2016, which means fans of The Purge will have to wait a little longer for their next fix. Now, it looks like the previous rumors about The Purge 3 being a prequel are also morphing.
Collider managed to grab some time with franchise producer Brad Fuller, who was more than willing to debunk reports from earlier in the month that the first Purge Night would be the focus of The Purge 3. It was The Purge and The Purge: Anarchy writer/director James DeMonaco who first started the rumor when he started to talk about where the sequel could go, but Fuller shut down that talk, saying:
I read that too about the first night of The Purge. We don’t know anything about that. I read that and I haven’t heard that so I’m not sure what that was. The material that we’re considering right now is not the first night of The Purge.
What's interesting is that the prequel idea wasn't the only pitch that James DeMonaco offered as a possible plot for The Purge 3. The filmmaker also mused that the franchise could go in a more forward-moving direction, focusing on the group of revolutionaries fighting against The Purge - the group led by Michael K. Williams' Carmello Johns. So naturally, this is the story angle that looks to have won out for the moment. At least, until someone mentions another possibility in passing. As for whether surviving champion, and all around bad ass, Frank Grillo will be returning, Brad Fuller had only this thinly veiled vote of excitement:
"Listen, we loved working with him and we thought that he was so good in that role and, you know, if it works to have him back we would really be very excited about that."
This can be translated multiple ways. One possibility is that James DeMonaco might not have a place for Frank Grillo's Sergeant character in The Purge 3 script. The other possibility, however, is that he's talking about scheduling. Grillo is expected to play an important role in Marvel's upcoming Captain America: Civil War, and that production is going to be so big that the horror franchise might have to wait its turn to get him on-board. For all we know, this was another reason why The Purge 3 was postponed to 2016, as the microbudget franchise shouldn't require that much lead time to get itself into the can for a July 2016 launch.
While most series have the instant urge to go back to the beginning for their third installments, forward movement on The Purge franchise is probably the smartest idea. The films have never relied on pre-built backstory, but instead have leaked out details through a more organic method of exposition running parallel to the action. If anything, the first Purge Night would make for a great graphic novel prequel that could set up the next film, as it would fill in the details and extend the brand into new methods of storytelling - much like The Purge haunted houses that have been popping up the past couple of Halloweens. The future of The Purge franchise, despite the lack of solid details of its future, is looking bright... so do your best to survive the night.
The Purge 3 reminds you to lock your doors and hide your children once again on July 1, 2016.