‘Short Term 12’ Star Keith Stanfield to Join Frank Grillo in ‘The Purge 2’ (Exclusive)

James DeMonaco returns to write, direct and produce Universal’s sequel to last year’s sleeper hit

“Short Term 12” star Keith Stanfield has an extra reason to celebrate the new year, as he has joined the cast of Universal’s “The Purge 2,” TheWrap has learned.

The actor is currently in the midst of making a serious bid for an Oscar nomination for his original song “So You Know What It’s Like,” which he co-wrote with “Short Term 12” director Destin Daniel Cretton. Awards pundits believe he stands a good chance, as not only is the song vital within the context of the film, but it’s also the highest-profile rap track, which may help distinguish it from other contenders.

Also Read: ‘Short Term 12’ Star Keith Stanfield on His Breakthrough Role and Song: ‘There’s Been a Snowball Effect’

“The Purge 2” features an all-new cast led by Frank Grillo as well as Michael K. Williams (“Boardwalk Empire”), Carmen Ejogo (“Sparkle”), Zach Gilford (“Friday Night Lights”), Kiele Sanchez (“Lost”) and Zoe Soul (“Prisoners”).

The original film was set in a world where the government allows a 12-hour period once a year where all crime is legal. “The Purge” grossed nearly $90 million worldwide on a $3 million production budget.

James DeMonaco returns to write and direct the sequel, which Universal will release June 20.  The studio is keeping plot details, as well as Stanfield’s role, under wraps.

Jason Blum’s Blumhouse and Michael Bay’s Platinum Dunes banner are producing with Sebastien Lemercier and DeMonaco. Representatives for Universal and Blumhouse did not immediately respond to TheWrap’s request for comment.

Also Read: ‘The Purge’: Why Doesn’t Everyone Make $3M Movies That Open to $36M?

Stanfield received an Independent Spirit Award nomination for his fearless supporting performance in “Short Term 12.” The actor will soon be seen alongside James Franco in the indie movie “Memoria,” but until then, he’ll be waiting to see if he’s one of this year’s Best Original Song nominees on Jan. 16, when Oscar nominations are announced.

Stanfield is represented by Innovative Artists and manager Scott Glassgold of IAM Entertainment.