What if America could have negligible levels of unemployment, a booming economy and low crime rates all year round, all for the small price of a few hundred thousand poor, weak and disenfranchised members of society being slaughtered and brutalized during an annual night of lawlessness? Such was the Faustian bargain made in James DeMonaco's futuristic horror The Purge, which was released earlier this year.
Featuring the polite, upper-class psychopaths of Funny Games and the spooky masks of The Strangers, The Purge's main claim to originality was its dark social satire and its depiction of a society that could be interpreted as either utopian or dystopian. It's a big idea with plenty of room to explore, and luckily for DeMonico and co., there's always next year's Purge in which to dig a little further.
After The Purge, which was made for a mere $3 million, brought in over $87 million at the box office, a follow-up was to be expected. Sure enough, a sequel was greenlit just a few short months after the release of The Purge. Today, Variety announced that DeMonaco will return to write and direct the second film, which is once again being produced through Blumhouse, Platinum Dunes and Universal Pictures.
The Purge 2 may end up in production very soon, as earlier this week Production Weekly tweeted that Jason Blum, Michael Bay and James DeMonaco will be reuniting on a new project called The Zone, which is set to begin filming in mid-December in Los Angeles. This, combined with the fact that The Purge 2 needs to begin production by the end of the year and shoot in California in order for Blumhouse to receive a $2.25 million tax credit for it, makes it almost certain that The Zone is actually a sequel to The Purge.
The Purge had an interesting premise that felt a little handcuffed to its home invasion plot and was somewhat overstuffed with clichés, but with the central idea remaining largely underdeveloped, there are many possibilities for improvement in a sequel. If the possible title is any indication of what direction the plot could take, The Zone could be about a particular location designated for freedom to commit crime without consequence, instead of a particular date and time.
Do you think that the story of The Purge showed enough promise to be worth continuing? Share your thoughts on The Zone and what it might be about with us in the comments.
The Purge 2/The Zone does not have a scheduled release date yet, but we'll keep you updated on the project as it develops.