Think what you like about The Purge trilogy, but you can’t deny the profitability of the three films in the franchise (so far). That’s why it’s no surprise to hear that a TV show set in the same world as the films is hitting the small screen in 2018. If you make over $318 million from three films that cost a total of $22 million to make, what have you got to lose?
And the dystopian future / alternative present of The Purge is the perfect playground for television writers and showrunners to get stuck into. For those not up to speed, The Purge films imagine a world in which all crime is legal for 12 hours once a year. The annual ‘Purge’ sees people hit the streets with whatever weapons they can carry to indulge in as much of the old ultra-violence as they fancy. Or, alternatively, hideaway behind closed doors and wait for the carnage to be cleaned up.
So far, we’ve had three films and pretty much three different sets of characters in each film (except for the returning Frank Grillo who starred in both the second and third films). Now with the TV show, we could have different characters every episode, or we could follow the same set of characters as they try to survive the annual purge.
But what’s most interesting is that producer Jason Blum has suggested that the TV series will not all take place on Purge night as all three films have done. Speaking to Den of Geek about the direction of the new series, he said:
“We’re working on kind of exploring what it’s like to live the rest of the year in a world where you can kill someone on a certain day of the year. It definitely makes you think twice if you’re driving and you give someone the finger or something like that. So we’re definitely thinking about different things that might happen in a society where killing was legal 12 hours a year. There are a lot of things that you don’t think about. You could commit a murder, and then somehow make it seem like it happened on Purge Night and get away with it. There are a lot of things that you can do with that idea, and we’re trying to think of all those different situations in that world.”
And this is what has got me really excited about the show. I think The Purge films have a great concept, and are ripe for satirising the crazy times we live in, but none of the three films so far have quite managed to do justice to that bonkers, but strangely brilliant premise. Perhaps expanding the scope of the series to see beyond the madness, the excitement, and the relentless anarchy of Purge night is just what the franchise needs to really explore the repercussions of a society that lets loose its darkest desires once a year.
I can imagine a whole series of the show leading up to one final episode that takes place on the night of the Purge. Where the films have dived straight in without much of an opportunity to get to know the characters, the TV series could allow us to invest a whole lot more before the inevitable slaughter begins.
With real-life tragedies involving gun violence making news increasingly frequently these days, the only problem is that The Purge might find itself being far too relevant, far too often.
The Purge TV show is set to air sometime in 2018.
Will you be watching, or does the idea of watching an episode of The Purge with no actual purging sound like the worst idea in the world?