The Purge, as a movie, didn’t do much for me. It had an intriguing concept and a cool hook, but didn’t do much with it outside of deliver a standard home invasion yarn. Which is why I was surprised at how much I enjoyed the follow-up, The Purge: Anarchy—came perilously close to making my top ten list for 2014. Hitting theaters almost exactly a year after the first film, many of us expected a hasty, thrown together sequel intended to capitalize on the popularity of the first. While it is definitely that in many ways, it’s better than it has any right to be, and eschews the horror trappings of the first film to deliver a modern day equivalent of a grim, gritty 1970s revenge/exploitation flick that you’d see at a grindhouse. Part three was announced a few months ago, and now it looks like two key players from Anarchy are coming back for another night of chaos, murder, and mayhem.
Michael Kenneth Williams, best known for playing Omar Little on HBO’s The Wire, has a small, but intriguing, part in Anarchy, and he recently revealed that he expects both he and Frank Grillo to be back for The Purge 3. Talking to Collider, he said:
From what I understand there will be a Purge 3 and it’s been, from what I understand—this is just rumor mill—it’s been greenlit and you can definitely look to see Frank Grillo and my character, our characters collide and come together and go after the real bad guys … as of right now don’t quote me, but that’s what I’ve been hearing.
Anarchy opens up the world a great deal, and you get to see more of what happens when all crime is legal for one night. It takes place all over the city, following a group of characters as they try to survive. Williams plays Carmello, the militant leader of an anti-Purge group, whose platform is that the Purge is designed to weed out the poor, specifically non-white lower classes. And he’s not wrong.
His presence is felt throughout the film, though he only shows up for a brief, but important moment near the end. Still, he and his group form an interesting piece of the puzzle, and though they come and go, you’re left with the definite impression that they’ll be back. As the second film shifted gears from the first, following Carmello and his crew could make for a similarly significant shift, and offer up yet another vantage point to peer into this world.
A return of Grillo’s character, on the other hand, might be harder to pull off. It would be great, because he’s a total badass, and Grillo is one of the few guys in Hollywood carrying the tough-guy leading man mantle from an earlier generation, so I’d love to see his Sergeant character again. But at the end of the movie, his arc is completed—he was out for revenge for his dead son, and his narrative wraps up in a satisfactory, and not entirely expected way.
He’s not the kind of guy who goes around joining causes, so it’s hard to imagine him teaming up with Carmello and company, and any other way I can think to bring him back, would ring false and feel forced. Still, writer/director/creator James DeMonaco was able to pull off a surprise with Anarchy, so maybe he’ll be able to work similar magic with The Purge 3. One thing is certain, as long as these low-budget films keep making tons of money, they’ll keep cranking them out.