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The Purge franchise has come a long way to get to where it currently stands. Starting as a low budget home invasion thriller with a sci-fi bent, the action-horror series has evolved over its three installments into a nail-biter franchise with some equally biting political satire thrown in for good measure. With the fourth installment coming to theaters next year, The Purge 4 writer James DeMonaco has officially revealed that the film - officially titled The Purge: The Island - will not only take place on Staten Island, but it will also be a prequel exploring the origins of this hellish night. DeMonaco explained:
It takes place on Staten Island which is cool --- the first experimental Purge. Next July 4, it'll be coming. Okay, let me think what I can give. I said it's the first experimental Purge, which I don't know if I was supposed to say, but now I've said it, so you have it.
Unlike the previous two Purge sequels, which moved forward chronologically and gradually ramped up their scope, the fourth Purge movie will move back in time to the very first Purge night as it explores the New Founding Fathers of America's rise to power. The film will localize its purging to Staten Island, New York, and show the very first time in which societal structures intentionally collapsed for 12 hours. Given the prequel nature of the project, DeMonaco also made a point to say in his interview with Vulture that The Purge: The Island could be the "most topical" because the world created by the movie will resemble our own more than any previous installment.
By taking this story into the past, it also sounds like The Purge: The Island will have the ability to explore its incredibly rich political undertones even further. James DeMonaco continued his explanation saying,
But in the next Purge movie, Purge 4, the NFFA has just come into power and come up with this crazy conceit of the Purge to help a dying economy.
That political focus is a fundamental element of The Purge franchise that has become increasingly important with each passing film. Within the world created by the series, the New Founding Fathers of America represent a terrifyingly militant (yet believable) fringe group that sends the United States into chaos after capitalizing on social and economic discontent. The folks behind the series have made no secret of the fact that the current American political environment helped inform The Purge: Election Year; because of the franchise's success, it stands to reason that they will continue to double down on those ideas as they explore this world.
The Purge: The Island isn't the only Purge-related property in the works at the moment. In addition to the films (which are described as "events" in this universe), a Purge TV show is also in development. Unlike the movies, the show will do a deep dive into the socio-political atmosphere that allows The Purge to exist, and offer up a closer glimpse at life when The Purge is not in effect -- with a few key cameos thrown in for good measure. One thing is clear: there's a hell of a lot more purging on the horizon, and we're definitely okay with that.
The Purge: The Island will debut in theaters next year on July 4, 2018. Beyond that, check out our movie premiere guide for more information on 2017's biggest releases, and remember, purge and purify.