The Purge franchise is recognized first and foremost as part of the horror genre, but what’s impossible not to pick up on in the story is the social commentary regarding class warfare. As the films have continued to come out, each one has added new layers to the world, and in doing so have provided new perspectives and angles for the subtext. This is definitely not going to be a tradition from which the upcoming The Forever Purge deviates, with the film unfolding a story at the United States’ southern border, but the director is also promising that the latest chapter of the series is going to be the most authentic and visceral that we’ve seen.
Timed to the rollout of the first trailer this morning, I had the pleasure of interviewing The Forever Purge director Everardo Gout this past weekend about his work on the upcoming sequel, and it was while discussing his collaboration with screenwriter/producer/franchise creator James DeMonaco that he talked about his specific approach to the material. He explained that there was a feel he was going for with the movie, and that required going the extra mile in terms of research and demanding authenticity. Said the filmmaker,
What happened in our collaboration is that because I wanted to do the most authentic of the movies, the most visceral, granular, we went deep into portraying, as correctly as possible, minorities and Mexicans and Indian Americans. We did do a lot of research on the authenticity of all of that.... What, I didn't want to do is a white-washed Hollywood version. I wanted the real thing.
Unlike its three predecessors, the majority of The Forever Purge won’t take place during the annual 12-hour event when all crime is legal, but instead is set directly in the aftermath. While the ensemble of characters believe that they are safe once the legally chaotic and violent period comes to an end, they are unfortunately disillusioned of that notion by a group of masked terrorists who refuse to let the Purge end. Being set near the United States-Mexico border, the story has its own political implications and clearly Everardo Gout was excited to dig into that material.
What the filmmaker also recognized, however, was that he had a great resource available to him called “James DeMonaco’s brain.” DeMonaco created the Purge franchise, writing and directing The Purge, The Purge: Anarchy, and The Purge: Election Year, and he wrote the screenplay for The First Purge in addition to creating the two season-long Purge television series. He is the true grandmaster of everything related to the series, and Everardo Gout clearly enjoyed his time working with him, saying,
Obviously many questions up sprang about the universe in general and he's a very intelligent, very cultured man, so you can talk movies, you can talk paintings, you can talk books. So that was great about working with James.
After initially being planned as a 2020 release, The Forever Purge is now set to hit theaters this summer just in time for the Independence Day holiday. Look for it in your local cinemas July 2, and to check out everything else that is coming out between now and the end of December, be sure to check out our 2021 Movie Release Calendar.