When The Purge hit theaters in 2013, Universal could not have predicted just how big of a success the Blumhouse thriller would be. Against a budget of just $3 million, it grossed $89 million worldwide, and its premise offered evergreen sequel opportunities. Thus, The Purge: Anarchy was born. The follow-up was even more successful, grossing $111 million worldwide, but audiences also really responded to a new character played by Frank Grillo. He sort of became the de facto franchise star, reprising his role in this year’s The Purge: Election Year which was—surprise—another big success.
However, while Paramount no doubt wants to continue on with the franchise, Grillo himself is less certain. Collider’s own Christina Radish recently spoke with the actor in anticipation of Season 3 of his DirecTV series Kingdom, and the actor revealed that he’s a little ambivalent about returning for The Purge 4:
“It is what it is, but it’s great. It’s fun. After Anarchy, Universal called me and said, ‘You’ve got a franchise. We’re gonna continue with this, if you wanna do this.’ I was like, ‘Yeah, this is great!’ And so, when Election Year was even more successful, they were like, ‘Let’s keep doing this!’ I was like, ‘Maybe. I think I might be done, but you should keep doing it!’ But, I love it! [James] DeMonaco, who wrote and directed all of them, reminds me a lot of (Kingdom creator/showrunner) Byron [Balasco], in the sense that he so understands the world he’s created that you just follow him. For an actor, that’s fun.”
So does that mean Grillo definitely doesn’t want to do another Purge movie? In answering this query, the actor also let slip that he may or may not have turned down the opportunity to reprise his Captain America: The Winter Soldier and Civil War role of Crossbones in a future MCU movie:
“If DeMonaco was still involved and they came up with a great idea, then I think I would do [another Purge movie]. Otherwise, I think I’m done. Same thing with Captain America. There’s nowhere for it to go, unless you’re Captain America or Iron Man. They were talking about it, but I was like, ‘You know what? I’d just rather not do it.’ I’m so appreciative and grateful to have been a part of something that big. I’m appreciative of The Purge. It’s become a part of the lexicon and the zeitgeist knows what it is, so that’s been fun. But, it’s time to move on. Don’t stay at the party too long, or you get knocked through the ropes.”
While the Crossbones character did come to full fruition in Captain America: Civil War, he was basically just used in the opening prologue and then discarded via explosion. Grillo previously teased a future appearance by saying that we never actually saw Crossbones die, but it sounds like he decided he’d rather not return only for the character to once again be used in a couple of scenes that are tangential to the main plot.
Which, you know, is understandable, plus Avengers: Infinity War and its sequel Avengers 4 already have plenty of characters to handle. So for now at least, it sounds like we’ve seen the last of Crossbones.
Look for much more from our interview with Grillo on Collider soon. Kingdom returns to the AT&T Audience Network on DirecTV on May 31st.