The director and creator of the hugely successful The Purge franchise has finally revealed the details and plot for the fourth film. In an interview, James DeMonaco has discussed the direction that the story will now take and how the upcoming The Purge: The Island will relate to his previous trilogy of movies.
The first three films in the franchise have been remarkably successful for Blumhouse, as they depict the impact on US citizens in a dystopian future, as they try to survive the annual "Purge Night" where all crime is made legal for 12 hours. Whereas the first film focused on a home-invasion scenario, both The Purge: Anarchy and The Purge: Election Year centred on a single character played by actor Frank Grillo. When Election Year finished, it seemed to suggest that political and social opposition would prevent further Purges from taking place. With that in mind, the announcement of a fourth film raised questions as to what the plot would entail. The film was however given a firm summer 2018 release date, and although DeMonaco has directed all three previous films, indie filmmaker Gerard McMurray was announced as the new director.
Since then little else has been revealed about The Purge 4, which is now known to be titled The Purge: The Island. Rumors circulated that it may well be a prequel and deal with the rise of the New Founding Fathers political party. However, while giving an interview to Vulture, DeMonaco has finally stated what the film will be about and how it stands within the franchise timeline. Possibly revealing a little more than he intended to about the plot, he says:
"It takes place on Staten Island which is cool - the first experimental Purge. Next July 4, it'll be coming. Okay, let me think what I can give. I said it's the first experimental Purge, which I don't know if I was supposed to say, but now I've said it, so you have it."
It's an intriguing concept and confirms that the next film is very much a prequel. The idea that it will cover the very first instance of a Purge and in such an iconic location is very promising, especially for a franchise which has been as much about political stances as pure action. DeMonaco also goes on to state that it won't disappoint fans of the previous films:
"I think Island is the most crowd-pleasing of the films ... 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."
With those details it sounds like an enticing cross between a modern-day Western and Escape From New York, with the backstory behind the introduction of Purge Night to America being fleshed out substantially. Although DeMonaco isn't actually the director on this film, he is still the writer and remains very much the guiding force behind the film and the TV series in development. He is very keen to continue with what he believes are politically relevant themes, but also deliver a "fun action horror" film. Hopefully we'll be able to see for ourselves in July 2018 when The Purge: The Island is released.