Universal Pictures previously announced the next chapter of The Purge will be a prequel to their successful franchise. Now, with the film officially titled The First Purge, the studio has released a very provocative teaser poster for the movie that's bound to get attention.
The first Purge film was released in 2013 and set in a near-future dystopian America, where a 12-hour period renders all crime totally legal. The 2014 sequel moved from the original's home-invasion concept to a larger, expanded scope that opened the possibility for more action. Then, 2016's The Purge: Election Year took the series's usual violent action into political-motivated metaphor. Given the last film's bloody-bashing of America's future, the prequel's teaser-poster is likely to get laughs for its bold irony, while upsetting more conservative moviegoers.
Released by Universal, the poster for The First Purge features an image of a red cap with white embroidered serif all-caps text. The satirical stab against the state of American politics replaces "MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN" with simply the title of the film. Under the hat, only the film's planned Independence Day release date, the Universal logo, and the "not yet rated" insignia that's most likely to be replaced with the hard R the previous films garnered. In addition to the image, the studio provided a synopsis that goes into intriguing detail of what to expect from this origin story. Take a look at the synopsis for The First Purge and the official poster below:
"Behind every tradition lies a revolution. Next Independence Day, witness the rise of our country’s 12 hours of annual lawlessness. Welcome to the movement that began as a simple experiment: The First Purge. To push the crime rate below one percent for the rest of the year, the New Founding Fathers of America (NFFA) test a sociological theory that vents aggression for one night in one isolated community. But when the violence of oppressors meets the rage of the marginalized, the contagion will explode from the trial-city borders and spread across the nation."
Returning as writer/producer is The Purge creator James DeMonaco, who's The Purge: Election Year has grossed over $118 million worldwide. That third installment was the most successful film in a franchise that's become a profitable phenomenon for its producers: Blumhouse Productions’ Jason Blum (Insidious, Get Out), Platinum Dunes partners Michael Bay, Brad Fuller and Andrew Form (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Ouija), and DeMonaco’s production partner Sébastien K. Lemercier (Assault on Precinct 13, Four Lovers). Up-and-coming director Gerard McMurray (Burning Sands) will helm The First Purge. Cast includes Y’Lan Noel (Insecure), Lex Scott Davis (Training Day), Joivan Wade (Doctor Who), Luna Lauren Velez (Dexter) and My Cousin Vinny Oscar winner Marisa Tomei (Spider-Man: Homecoming).
Though the third Purge film left audiences with the hint of the NFFA defeated, the story could, and is likely to continue. Going back to the beginning has become a popular trend for franchises, recently Insidious: The Last Key and Ouija: Origin of Evil. It's not surprising the producers would take this detour in narrative structure. A prequel offers the ability to attract newcomers to a franchise, especially one that potential audiences may have an otherwise predetermined, misguided opinion about its high-concept premise. In addition, the decision to bring a new director to the series is likely to give this particular installment a new feel.
As for the advertising, The Purge continues to push buttons with its eye-catching imagery. The initial film in the series launched with "government emergency notice" posters that treated the titular "purge" as a real event in our world. For Anarchy, the red stripes of the American flag were replaced with an arsenal of weaponry from grenades to machine guns. A teaser poster for The Purge: Election Year replaced the popular "I Voted" sticker with an "I Purged" claim, next to a bloody-knife supporting the flag. It's probably only a matter of time before Universal starts mass-producing the red-hats from The First Purge poster for promotional giveaway, to jump-start the film's summer box-office blast.
Source: Universal Pictures