The first trailer for the television adaptation of The Purge has arrived and it looks to be every bit as intense and unsettling as the feature films from which it is adapted. The series is set to air on USA this September (with the premiere and finale set to be simulcast on SYFY), and it not only comes with the name recognition of the popular film series, but also that of Jason Blum of Blumhouse Productions, which has seen its profile increase dramatically over the past few years, and especially thanks to the critical and box office success of Jordan Peele’s Get Out.
But The Purge is riding high on its own this summer, as the franchise is set to release The First Purge, a prequel starring Marisa Tomei that, unsurprisingly, recounts how the tradition of the violent, crime-ridden holiday came to be. (Bonus: it features Tomei’s character, The Architect/Dr. Updale, actually uttering the phrase, “What have I done?”). While there's that to look forward to in July, the Purge continues in September on the small screen.
Though it will be following in the footsteps of the summer prequel, The Purge TV series will take a slightly different route, check out the synopsis and some stills from the series below:
“Based on the hit movie franchise from Blumhouse Productions, THE PURGE revolves around a 12-hour period when all crime, including murder, is legal. Set in an altered America ruled by a totalitarian political party, the series follows several seemingly unrelated characters living in a small city. As the clock winds down, each character is forced to reckon with their past as they discover how far they will go to survive the night.”
There's always a challenge to bring a successful film franchise to television, but since The Purge has found a workable formula by having each film be an example of one night in a series of Purges, moving the concept to TV likely won't be too much of a hurdle, creatively speaking. The biggest challenge, however, might be in stretching out the story to fill 10 hours. So far, franchise creator James DeMonaco -- who will write and produce the TV series -- seems to be addressing that challenge by focusing on several different groups of characters, each with their own storylines running simultaneously as the proverbial clock ticks toward another Purge.
One thing the series has going for it is the relatively low budget of The Purge films. Not only does that help lend the franchise its gritty appeal, it also makes for a lower bar of entry for the same aesthetic to be carried over to television. Looking at the trailer for The Purge TV series the show looks like it won't have any trouble convincing fans it's the real deal.
The Purge premieres Tuesday, September 4 @10pm on USA and SYFY.