'The Purge' TV Show Fits Neatly Into the Purge Cinematic Universe
'The Purge' on USA tells a brand new story in a well-worn universe.
When movies become television shows (or vice versa), they don’t always share the same singular cinematic universe — that’s why Luke Cage never showed up in Avengers: Infinity War. These days, however, the Purge Cinematic Universe has the Marvel Cinematic Universe beat by actually integrating the new Purge TV show directly into the same world as the four preceding movies. But how exactly do they fit together?
Inverse had the pleasure of visiting the set of The Purge TV show earlier this year, where we learned all about the new series coming to USA Network in September. When and where does the show take place? Will we see any familiar faces from the movies? We’ve got all the answers.
Where Does The Purge TV Show Take Place?
The Purge movies go to Los Angeles, Washington D.C., and Staten Island, but the TV show explores a new location in the NFFA-run America.
The Purge showrunner Thomas Kelly explains that even though the show is being shot in New Orleans, the actual city presented is an “unspecified American city that should be relatable to anyone that lives in a small-medium sized American city.”
For what it’s worth, most cocktails at the speakeasy-style cantina on the show cost either $8 or $9. But do cheap drinks mean a smaller city or just that the economy is booming?
What Year Is It In The Purge TV Show?
This particular Purge night takes place sometime between Purge: Anarchy and Purge: Election Year on a very special anniversary.
“We’re 10 years into it,” Kelly explained. “It’s not the new normal, it’s the normal. Especially for younger people, it’s something a lot of people grew up with.” This is definitely the same world, but it’s set during a year we haven’t seen in any of the movies. Something special might be happening for the tenth anniversary.
USA Network sent us a newspaper from the Purgeverse that teased two events on the show: The Gauntlet seems like the Purge meets the Hunger Games, and Carnival of Flesh sounds like a murder carnival. Could these commemorate the 10-year anniversary in some fashion?
Despite taking place almost a full decade into our own future, The Purge’s world looks hauntingly familiar. “In the way we tell the story, it looks like right now,” Kelly says, which is true of all the Purge movies. It’s as if despite the booming economy attributed to the Purge, technological advancement and social evolution have stalled. “It’s 2027, but we make no acknowledgment of that. There’s no gadgetry that’s not in the moment.”
Will The Purge TV Show Crossover or Have Easter Eggs?
The TV show will have limited direct ties, but it feature have plenty of nods to the broader Purge universe.
“We want to have Easter eggs sprinkled in, but we want to do our own thing,” Kelly explains. Fans will recognize a triage van, like in Purge: Election Year, and maybe even a few familiar masks.
Lauren Bott, the show’s costume designer, explains that the masks are a place where Easter eggs really come through. “You do see [Easter eggs] pop in throughout,” Bott says. “So far as having something that’s more for the fans, like “Oh my god! There’s THAT mask!” She specifically mentioned one special mask hanging on the wall that fans might recognize in Episode 4.
Set Designer Sharon Lomofsky explains that Miguel (Gabriel Chavarria) visits a place called Pete’s Cantina looking for help. “It’s a safe haven, a place where you come on Purge night and people come here to have a drink, put down their tools, their weapons, take off their masks, refresh, think about maybe not going out to Purge,” Lomofsky says. Patrons have to check their weapons and masks at the door, so that’s where the Easter eggs might come in.
Showrunner Thomas Kelly mentioned that the “GOD” mask from Purge: Anarchy might be one such mask, but he teased even further tie-ins to the broader universe. “We may even have one of the characters from Anarchy make a cameo in Episode 9,” Kelly hints.
One thing’s for sure, no matter what, there’s going to be tons of American violence when The Purge hits TV screens next month.
The Purge premieres on September 4 at 10 p.m. Eastern on USA Network.