This shouldn’t really be a surprise to anyone, but we’re going to get more of the low-budget dystopian horror franchise The Purge as Universal has officially given the go ahead for The Purge 3. The first cost $3 million and made $89 million worldwide, while the sequel, The Purge: Anarchy, which took less than a year from green light to opening day, cost $9 million and brought in $109 million globally. With numbers like that, you definitely understand why they want to churn out more.
Deadline reports that the studio is bringing back writer/director James DeMonaco for The Purge 3, which makes sense since he’s obviously got the world he created down pat, and knows how to turn a movie around quickly and for relatively little money. (Maybe the budget for this one will crack the $10 million mark.) DeMonaco will also reunite with Jason Blum and his Blumhouse Productions, who, again, are also masters of low-budget movies with a high profit margin, like the Paranormal Activity movies.
As weird as it may seem, I am totally on board with this even though I’m not a big fan of the Ethan Hawke-starring first film. It has a cool concept, but essentially squandered it on a standard home invasion story, and not even a particularly good one like You’re Next or anything like that. Anarchy, however, I totally loved, despite the shitty, generic name. I won’t claim that it’s high art, and it’s not much of a horror movie, but what it is, is a cheap, gritty, exploitation style action thriller like the kind that doesn’t get made much anymore. It felt like watching the back end of a grindhouse double feature from the late 1970s, and I’ve got a special place in my heart for precisely that kind of film. Give it a little dystopian sci-fi edge, and you’ve got something we can work with here.
There’s no word on what the story will look like, as if most of their fan base cares much about that sort of thing, but odds are it will take place on the one night of the year where all crime is legal, as an outlet for all of society’s less civilized urges. Beyond that, it’s anyone’s guess. Anarchy expanded the worldview of the franchise, and one potential avenue they could explore is to dig into Michael Kenneth Williams’ radical Carmelo Johns character and the rising movement against the annual Purge. That could be interesting and provide some thematic depth. (Also, Omar.) Again, not something low-budget exploitation is always known for. I’d also hang out with Frank Grillo’s badass Sergeant character again, he was awesome, but his story has run its course at this point.
There’s also no timeline for The Purge 3, but given that Anarchy followed so quickly (it was supposed to be released less than a year after the first movie, but got delayed until just over a year had passed), you can bet that it will arrive sooner rather than later.