How on Earth could something as cruel, sinister and evil as The Purge come to be? Well that is what franchise creator James DeMonaco wants to examine in the fourth film of the franchise via The Purge: The Island. The 47-year old has worked as a writer and director since the original title was released in 2013, spawning a motion picture series that continues to tap into the fears of modern day America.
Such was the intent to be topical and political, the third feature The Purge: Election Year would open in 2016 just as Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton were vying for the White House. Now the new addition will venture back to the very start of the deadly ritual to act as a prequel as DeMonaco explained to Collider.
Purge Was Born Through Sheer Greed
Set to be released in 2018, DeMonaco outlined his thinking behind his decision to travel back in time. There have been many theories floating around the web about the origins and the practicalities of allowing mass murder for one night a year, but the application would derive from something as simple as money.
"I was wondering how you get people to stay for the first Purge, and what they do is they start monetizing it," he remarked. "People from Staten Island can easily go to Brooklyn for the evening, so what they do is start promising very decent sums of money for the very poor people in the neighborhood. It becomes a monetization of murder and violence, incentivizing killing and keeping people around for them to be victims. So you see the inception of how grotesque the idea of the Purge is, the manipulation upon the society. That’s where it becomes, sadly, I think, very topical right now with the current administration — and also terrifying, because, as you said, no one’s prepared for what’s about to happen. In fact, some people don’t think anything’s going to happen and then there’s this great twist (regarding) how they manipulate the evening."
Old Hand William to Be Purge 4's Anti-Hero
With a string of natural disasters, the threat of nuclear war and a myriad of other issues occurring in the news, DeMonaco believes the start of The Purge is a movie that would be more relevant in 2017 than it would have been in 2013.
"It really is a creepy reflection of what’s happening right now," he argues. "The bad serendipity is something I think people will be intrigued (by), to say the least, and scared and saddened by."
Yet that is not to be too much of a downer for the writer. This is a thriller that will aim to emulate Clint Eastwood's 1995 drama Unforgiven, a Western that has inspired the likes of Logan to have an aged anti-hero with his back against the wall.
"It’s so kick ass in its third act. What’s fun, too, is there’s an anti-hero. More than the previous films, there’s a singular hero in this movie. This is one man’s journey, William, an anti-hero inspired by Eastwood in Unforgiven, so it’s this very cool, modern, kind of badass who redeems himself through the story.”