'Purge 4' Finds Director in Sundance Filmmaker

Gerard McMurray - Publicity - P 2017
Courtesy of Blumhouse
Franchise creator James DeMonaco remains involved and wrote the script for the new chapter.

Gerard McMurray, the director and co-writer behind the Sundance favorite Burning Sands, will take the action-horror Purge franchise to the next level.

McMurray has been tapped to helm The Purge 4, becoming the first filmmaker other than James DeMonaco to direct an installment of the movie series that hails from Blumhouse Productions, Platinum Dunes and Universal.

DeMonaco remains involved with the new installment, writing the script and having a hand in picking someone to pass the torch to.

Blumhouse’s Jason Blum, Platinum Dunes partners Michael Bay, Brad Fuller and Andrew Form and DeMonaco’s longtime production partner Sebastien K. Lemercier are producing the pic.

A July 4, 2018, release has been set.

The Purge series is set in a near-future America where once a year there is a 12-hour period where all crime, including the most insane acts of murder, are legal. The first movie, released in 2013, was a contained thriller that starred Ethan Hawke and made a healthy $64.4 million domestically on a $3 million budget, while 2014 follow-up Anarchy was an even greater success. By the time of Election Year, the third installment in 2016 that starred Frank Grillo, the story had expanded into a battle for America’s political future and was timely in its themes.

Plot details for Purge 4 are being kept secret.

"I have not seen a film as confidently directed in a long time as Burning Sands, and I'm excited to see Gerard's own expression of the Purge world," said DeMonaco, who is also working on bringing the world of Purge to television (simultaneously with the new film) in a series produced by Blumhouse and Universal Cable Productions. 

McMurray hails from the low-budget indie world and was an associate producer on Ryan Coogler’s breakout, Fruitvale Station (2013). He made his feature debut co-writing and directing Burning Sands, a drama that looked at extreme hazing. The movie made its debut earlier this year at Sundance, where it was nominated for the festival’s grand jury prize and was scooped by Netflix.

McMurray is repped by CAA, Principato-Young Entertainment and Gang Tyre.