Back in June, just after The Purge's UK release and before it even opened in the States, there was already talk of a sequel. The Purge 2 appeared on a list of projects picked for a slice of the California Film Commission's $100m tax credit allocation, so while director James DeMonaco and producer Jason Blum insisted they had nothing to announce, it seemed the cat was out of the bag. There's been silence on the subject since then, but today comes confirmation that The Purge 2 - possibly titled The Zone - is definitely underway.
The Purge, if you missed it, was a weak-ish home-invasion horror but a reasonably decent satire, positing a future in which gun-nut America has been allowed an annual cathartic 12-hour murder frenzy - the purge of the title - to boost the economy and keep crime rates down the rest of the year. Background news debates throughout the film argue whether or not the dark new system is just an opportunity to reduce the welfare bill by killing the poor.
While that film is self-contained, there's certainly potential mileage in other stories taking place on other Purge nights: an anthology format could see the premise run and run. It could also profitably open out from the original's housebound setting, and there's scope to pay a lot more attention to the mysterious, never seen, "New Founding Fathers" who have taken power in America and laid down this new high-concept law.
Whatever its story turns out to be, DeMonaco is back to write and direct, with Blum returning as producer via his Blumhouse company and Universal. Michael Bay's Platinum Dunes is also in the mix, and shooting needs to start before the end of the year if the production intends to grab its tax break.
And just as a PS, moving swiftly from a nascent franchise to an established (and apparently finished) one, Bloody Disgusting are once again reporting rumblings of an eighth Saw. BD do this perodically, and now as in the past, the story amounts to unnamed powers within Lionsgate pondering how they can revive and continue John Kramer's trappy adventures.
This is, we'd suggest, bleedin' obvious: it's perfectly believable that Lionsgate continue to muse on ways to bring back what was a very lucrative property for them, owning Hallowe'en for the best part of a decade. Saw's successor, Paranormal Activity, missed its slot this year, so maybe the lack of a juggernaut franchise mainstay at the end of October 2013 has prompted more active discussion at the home of Jigsaw. But there's nothing to see here yet...