The popular Purge franchise came to television in 2019 with a USA series, produced by Blumhouse and set in the same universe as the movies. Now, Blumhouse TV is giving a TV spinoff to another movie, and the new project should also deliver a healthy dose of horror to viewers. The plot of the 2018 film Upgrade will continue as a television series.
Upgrade premiered in 2018 as a sci-fi thriller written and directed by Leigh Whannell, and Whannell is on board the show as co-creator and executive producer. He also wrote and appeared in the first three Saw films that launched a successful horror franchise along with James Wan.
Leigh Whannell more recently directed Blumhouse's The Invisible Man for the big screen. Between his work on the Upgrade movie and his experience with thrillers, an Upgrade TV show could be pretty fantastic. The project isn't going to be a TV reboot that retells the story of the movie, but will rather pick up a few years after the events of Upgrade.
The film saw a man accept a chip called STEM that would restore abilities he lost after a devastating attack, but also spoke to him and helped him enact revenge on those who wronged him, eventually taking control of him altogether. In the TV show following the events of the movie, STEM has evolved and found a new host in a world. That said, the government has repurposed STEM with the goal of curbing criminal activity. I don't want to be hasty, but I'm going to go ahead and guess that something goes seriously wrong with the government using STEM.
That's not to say that Upgrade fans should count on seeing the show hit the airwaves any time too soon. A writer's room has begun to write and adapt the first season of the Upgrade series, with no details of casting or which network it will wind up on. It sounds like it could be a good fit for USA, all things considered.
Despite The Purge being cancelled after two seasons, USA was a good home for the series, and Upgrade would probably benefit from the freedom of cable vs. network. It's also worth noting that Tim Walsh of Treadstone, Chicago P.D., and Shooter fame joins Leigh Whannell as co-creator and executive producer, and both Shooter and Treadstone debuted on USA. Also, The Purge Season 2 co-showrunners Krystal Ziv Houghton and James Roland are on board.
Only time will tell how Upgrade comes together and how closely it resembles the original 2018 film, which was arguably one of the best horror movies of the year. For now, if you're interested in a taste of what a Blumhouse movie spinoff via TV series can look like, the first season of The Purge is streaming on Hulu now. For some additional viewing options, be sure to check out our 2020 summer premiere schedule.
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Laura turned a lifelong love of television into a valid reason to write and think about TV on a daily basis. She's not a doctor, lawyer, or detective, but watches a lot of them in primetime. Resident of One Chicago, the galaxy far, far away, and Northeast Ohio. Will not time travel and can cite multiple TV shows to explain why. She does, however, want to believe that she can sneak references to The X-Files into daily conversation (and author bios).