How and why was Purge Night born?  It’s a question that’s long fascinated James DeMonaco, the creator of the Purge film series. “How a country could get to the point where something like the Purge was a viable solution to its problems seemed very interesting to me,” says DeMonaco.  “Fear would seem to be the motivating factor—as it has in history—for any citizenry to accept such a nefarious solution.”

This provided the inspiration for the prequel film The First Purge, the fourth film in the Purge film series.  “How it began, where it began,” says DeMonaco.  “The first Purge is depicted in the film—but it is not a countrywide Purge.  It’s an ‘experimental’ Purge—to see if it works.”

After directing and writing the first three Purge films, DeMonaco chose Gerard McMurray to direct The First Purge.  “After writing and directing three Purge films in five years, I was ready to hand over the directing duties,” says DeMonaco.  “Gerard was also a big fan of the Purge films, and right after our first conversation, I knew he was the right person for the job.  Ultimately, Gerard saw the Purge films as I see them—as genre films, action/sci-fi/horror but also as socio-political commentaries about race, and class, and gun control in our country.”

What does the future hold for the Purge film series?  Will a fifth film continue with the storyline presented in this prequel, or will it feature a present-day storyline?  “I’m not exactly sure where to go next in the film series,” says DeMonaco.  “We have some ideas but nothing solid, and until the audience tells us they want more, I feel like it’s not cool to be assuming they do.”

What is certain is that the Purge mythology will be continuing on television.  In May, filming begins on a Purge television series, which will debut on Syfy/USA later this year.  “What’s great about that is that the real estate of TV—ten hours of screen time—allows us to explore—in a much more complex way—why someone would ever use violence to solve a problem.  Using a flashback structure, we explore the lives of people experiencing the Purge, and we see how they got to where they are on this particular Purge night.”