It’s not unusual when a popular movie franchise is turned into a TV show. It is, though, when a TV mini-series based on the latest movie will premiere just two months later.
The USA Network will present a ten-hour miniseries based on The Purge this fall. It will show several characters trying to survive the annual Purge, where all of America is allowed to commit crime, including murder, for 12 hours. During this series, the event is part of society because it’s in the Constitution. Several people will be featured, showing whether they want to participate in the Purge or fight it.
Some of the cast, and the producers, met with the press during San Diego Comic-Con. Brad Fuller, who co-produced The Purge: Anarchy, appeared with Lex Scott Davis, who played Nya in The First Purge.
Fuller says that when the Purge is part of life in this series, people have to make a choice. “There are good people in the TV show,” he says, “who find themselves tantalized by the Purge and how they can help their life, and you get to see the toll that it takes on their lives.”
Davis reprises her role as Nya, an activist who is against the Purge but has to be part of it to save who she can.
Fiona Dourif, who played a “holistic assassin” on Dirk Gently for two seasons, is a cult leader in this series. She said it was a different role, and an intriguing one. “Imagine being so convinced of something,” she says, “that you are willing to die for it. It’s just the most alive you can be, right? She’s so driven and brave. It’s actually one of my favorite characters I’ve ever played.”
In the show, people use the Purge in different ways. Amanda Warren plays Jan, a hard-working employee at a financial firm who finds her path of advancement is limited. “Her only way to remedy that is she’s a woman who’s taken advantage of her opportunities fair and square,” she says, ” and the Purge is an opportunity.” Jan will deal with a lot of moral conflict in using the Purge to advance.
Showrunner Tom Kelly and director Anthony Hemingway (who will helm the first episode) say the Purge movie series will do well on TV. This story, for example, takes place ten years after The First Purge. “Ten episodes take place over one night like the movies do,” he said, “but through the use of flashbacks we really get to break out of the night and we get to see what has influenced our characters in the past and then inform the decisions they make or don’t make in the Purge.”
Finally, Gabriel Chavarria talks about his character, Miguel, who is very worried about his sister after getting a strange letter from her. Miguel is also a Marine, and uses those skills to survive the night. He admits he’s a fan of the movies and thinks they’d work well on TV. “Every episode feels like a movie,” he said, “so you get a lot more out of it. They created great characters, characters that I feel like the audience and the fans will get really mostly invested in…and it’s crazy. It’s exciting, that’s for sure.”
The Purge mini-series starts on Tuesday, September 4th at 10 PM Eastern/Pacific on USA Network. The first and last episodes will be simulcast on SyFy.