SPOILER ALERT: The following article features major spoilers for The Purge: Election Year. If you have not yet seen the film, and don't wish to know important details about the ending, we recommend clicking away to another one of our wonderful articles!
The end of The Purge: Election Year doesn't seem to paint a big future for the horror franchise. After all, Senator Charlie Roan (Elizabeth Mitchell) wins her election and puts an end to the annual Purge holiday. There is a tease about growing violence in the country as a result of the vote, but most would probably agree it seems silly to keep the Purge series going forward when Purge Night is no longer a thing in the universe. It turns out that writer/director James DeMonaco is amongst those that think this way... which is why the in-the-works The Purge 4 will be a prequel that goes back to when the New Founding Fathers of America first came to power.
This morning, I had the pleasure of diving deep into the world of The Purge thanks to a phone interview with James DeMonaco, and after discussing many aspects of the franchise (including the developing television series), I asked what he could tell me about The Purge 4. In addition to explaining that he will probably only write or produce and not direct the sequel, he told me that the plan for the next movie is to have it be set years before the first three films, dissecting how things managed to fall apart and let Purge Night become a thing. Said DeMonaco,
I don't think I'll direct it. I would actually go back and I would try to talk about how it all started. That seems the natural next chapter in this, is to say, 'Alright, we've done this trilogy. We see how it got to this point of someone trying to end it - this presidential figure. Now let's go back and see how the fuck all this came about.' How did this country get to a place where we were now accepting this kind of atrocity, this terrible thing, each year? I think there's something interesting in that. I don't think I'll direct, between you and I. You can print that, I mean. I'm thinking of maybe writing or at least producing it, to make sure it stays true to what I like about the movies.
For those unfamiliar with the conceit behind the Purge series, the movies are set in a world where the United States holds an annual Purge Night: a 12-hour period where all criminal acts are legal, minus a couple of exceptions. In addition to trying to get audiences to leap out of their chairs and cover their eyes, the films also operate with strong themes about class and racial warfare -- which are currently more prescient than ever. As such, one wonders exactly how far The Purge world shown in The Purge 4 will reflect our own.