The Purge: Election Year (Photo: Universal Pictures)

[There are spoilers for The Purge: Election Year herein, so please return to your law-abiding existence if you’d rather not read about ’em.]

James DeMonaco completed his trilogy of Purge films with The Purge: Election Year, which culminated in the abolition of the nationwide crime spree. It was an ending that felt wholly earned, which is what made the news that a fourth Purge was in the works rather suspect, because it threatened to undo what DeMonaco had just accomplished. But whether you’re pro- or anti-Purge (in theory), the writer-director has found a way to maintain the dystopian thrills. In an interview with CinemaBlend, DeMonaco reveals that the next Purge movie will actually explore how the whole terrifying thing got started in the first place.

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Although he’s not sure he’s up for directing another bloodcurdling nighttime journey through a major city, DeMonaco says he’s interested in writing or producing a prequel that demonstrates just how this country could permit such a thing to come to pass:

I don’t think I’ll direct it. I would actually go back and I would try to talk about how it all started. That seems the natural next chapter in this, is to say, ‘Alright, we’ve done this trilogy. We see how it got to this point of someone trying to end it - this presidential figure. Now let’s go back and see how the fuck all this came about.’ How did this country get to a place where we were now accepting this kind of atrocity, this terrible thing, each year? I think there’s something interesting in that. I don’t think I’ll direct, between you and I. You can print that, I mean. I’m thinking of maybe writing or at least producing it, to make sure it stays true to what I like about the movies.

But because purging is serious business—it paid for Ethan Hawke’s addition in the first film—there’s also a TV spin-off in the works. DeMonaco tells CinemaBlend that the money talks are already going down for the series, which he thinks will be “kind of an anthology—more of an interwoven anthology. They came to me about a TV show, my idea is that you do six or seven storylines. And I would kind of intercut them, use flashbacks.”

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DeMonaco’s actually looking to do a 10-hour anthology series, which will show how life’s foibles and peccadilloes can lead someone to participate in government-sanctioned murder, robbery, etc. The filmmaker believes the TV medium lends itself well to telling these intertwining yet disparate stories. He also sounds optimistic about the series making it to air next year, though no network or streaming platform has picked it up yet.