'The Purge' Sequel Casts Fan-Favorite 'Friday Night Lights' Alum In His Biggest Movie Role Yet
You can bet Coach Taylor would not approve of this. Dillon Panther #7, Matt Saracen, known outside the Friday Night Lights world as Zach Gilford, has signed on to star in the sequel to The Purge. The first film came out in June 2013 and starred Ethan Hawke and Lena Headey. Gilford's role in the upcoming sequel, set to hit theaters in June 2014, is unknown, but it's a safe bet that it'll be a far cry from the part of a sensitive, artistic football player that made him so beloved to fans of FNL.
Like the original Purge, the sequel will take place in a typically peaceful world where, once a year, for 12 hours, citizens are allowed to commit whatever crimes they desire, free of consequence. The first movie starred Hawke as a home security salesman who earned a fortune selling Purge-designed alarm systems, but the sequel will have Frank Grillo (Prison Break) in an as-yet-unspecified lead role.
While The Purge earned pretty middling reviews upon its release — critics called it "gimmicky" and "predictably dull" — it exceeded box office expectations, taking in nearly $90 million on a $3 million budget. If the sequel does as well as the first movie, it could be a huge visibility boost to its cast, who mostly aren't well-knowns.
Actors like Gilford, who gained cult fame from FNL but has done little else since, may finally get noticed by a wide audience and experience success outside the small screen. The rest of his fellow FNL alums have found fame after they left the Panther football field; it's time for Gilford, one of the show's most beloved stars, to get his chance in the spotlight.
We're keeping our fingers crossed that The Purge sequel is better than the first, but even if it isn't, we're thrilled that Gilford is finally getting some big-screen roles. If the movie does well, perhaps we'll get to see him reunited with his best friend in TV and real life, Breaking Bad superstar Landry Clarke/Jesse Plemons, in some film down the line — may we suggest Crucifictorious: The Documentary?