Today, Cheat Sheet revealed some of the details behind an upcoming horror television series that many are highly anticipating. James DeMonaco’s iconic film franchise, The Purge, is coming to television, which may or may not be news to the horror community or The Purge fanbase; however, until recently, not much has been aired out about the series. Showrunner and executive producer Tom Kelly had a sit-down with reporters at Cheat Sheet, where Kelly went on to reveal some details about the show’s set and various secrets from USA Network’s The Purge.
This new TV series will be set exactly one decade after the events of The First Purge. A new set of characters will meet viewers with all new motivations and their individual backstories as the U.S. television series happens around the 12-hour period when all crime is legalized. The Purge show is set to premiere on September 4 of this year.
Apparently this series will take place between The Purge: Anarchy — released to audiences back in 2014 — and The Purge: Election Year — which hit fans in 2016 — and is being set in a small, unnamed United States city. Kelly told journalists at Cheat Sheet that the show, just like the films, is always going to be much more straightforward in telling a story of fear and terror.
“In the First movie, you’re ten minutes in, and a black guy is being chased down the street by a white mob. It’s not just doing a horror show, there are other themes being addressed that are relevant to the world we live in. So that intrigued me deeply.”
Since the movies focus mostly on the story itself, rather than the various people audiences are being introduced to, Kelly also let fans know that the series will have more time to focus on the individual characters. There will be 10 episodes, each one an hour long, to cover the course of the first season.
“I think [James] was excited about ten hours of story time. In the movies, it’s ten minutes of character, then 80 minutes of how they survive the night. By converting it to a different platform, we are able to use flashbacks. We really get to know the characters in a much deeper way than the movie space allowed. So right away [James] had a pretty contained vision for what the first season would be, which is pretty much what we executed.”
Kelly hopes to reel in a whole new audience, plus retain the fanbase from The Purge film franchise. He believes this will be possible now that creators have more time to work with character development while also keeping with the survival tactic. By being able to use flashbacks, Kelly says that the show will “give the audience a deeper understanding of how these people act and react under duress” during the big, annual Purge. Each flashback will be sticking with one character, to truly get fans acquainted. He also made it known that the writer’s room has a “good mix of people, gender, ethnicity, and class diversity,” which is something that Kelly believes isn’t talked about, insinuating that writer’s rooms are possibly not typically diverse areas. However, since they have achieved this diversity for The Purge, Kelly says he believes that the characters will “stand in through different audience viewpoints.”
For even more details and secrets not included here, check out the full exclusive with Cheat Sheet.