Some details are finally emerging for the TV series of James DeMonaco's The Purge, as the actors for the two leads are confirmed and the character bios give some hints to what can be expected. With the release of the next movie, The First Purge due in July, the show will act as a companion piece to the films, and judging by the released details it will also expand on some of the more obscure themes seen in the big-screen outings.
The concept of an ongoing TV series, based around the 12-hour government-sanctioned crime amnesty, was first announced by franchise creator DeMonaco back in 2016. Whereas the next Purge movie will be a prequel, the 10-episode TV show will take place during the height of The Purge's popularity. Imagined as a way of exploring the effects that the legal annual killing spree has on individual characters, Blumhouse head Jason Blum previously said that it would not exclusively take place on a single Purge Night but look at events throughout the year. Development has continued on the project quietly and it eventually landed at USA Network and Syfy. It was also recently reported that the show was due to start shooting in April in New Orleans.
Details concerning characters and stories have been unknown up until this point. However, as reported by Deadline, the first leads have now been cast and their character profiles have been made available. Gabriel Chavarria (War for the Planet of the Apes) is playing the part of Miguel, a "US Marine with a hard edge and a noble mission." Miguel receives a worrying letter from his younger sister Penelope, that causes him to rush home on Purge Night, running right into the expected wave of violence and murder. The part of Penelope is being played by Jessica Garza (Six, Modern Family), who is apparently part of a "Purge-worshipping cult" and is due to willingly give herself as a sacrifice to the leader during the events of the night. Needless to say, she has second thoughts.
While there are sure to be plenty of other characters and ongoing parallel plots, those character details are interesting for a couple of reasons. To start with, it looks like Purge Night itself will almost immediately play a large part of the show, although both DeMonaco and Blum indicated that it wouldn't be the primary focus. More intriguing perhaps is the reference to the Purge cult, which is something that has been touched on in the films. The Purge: Anarchy saw a terminally-ill character give himself up for ritualistic killing, and The Purge: Election Year saw the ruling NFFA also engage in sacrificial ceremonies. It looks like those ideas will be fleshed out majorly during the run of the series.
While there are probably plenty of further casting and plot details about to be dropped, at least these initial reports confirm that the series will pick up on some of the most disturbing elements of the franchise and will run with them. We look forward to seeing more information on the series as production continues.
There is no screening date yet for The Purge TV Show. We'll keep you updated.