Danny Boyle’s Iconic Zombie Franchise to Return With “28 Years Later” Sequel Landing at Sony
One of the most iconic, disturbing zombie films of the 21st century was Danny Boyle‘s breathless 28 Days Later, which featured a script by Ex Machina writer/director Alex Garland and a breakout performance by a then little-known Cillian Murphy. Now, The Hollywood Reporter scoops that 22 years after that 2002 classic, Boyle, Garland, and Murphy are bringing out 28 Years Later, which has found a home at Sony.
Sony hasn’t just landed this film, which they won after a bidding war with several other studios, but a Part 2, also set to be written by Garland. Cillian Murphy, currently riding high after his Oscar-nominated turn in 2023’s most lauded film, Christopher Nolan’s Oppenheimer, is on board as an executive producer. And Murphy might even act in the film, although those details are being kept in a top-secret biohazard facility.
28 Days Later can make a very credible claim for reigniting the zombie genre by delivering a terrifying, realistic vision of one man’s lonely reckoning with the undead. Jim (Murphy) wakes up from a coma alone in a hospital and finds out that the world as he knew it ended 28 days earlier when humanity was overrun by zombies. The film was a critical and commercial hit and led to director Juan Carlos Fresnadillo’s 2007’s 28 Weeks Later, but Boyle and Garland were only producers on that film. 28 Years Later represents the first time they’ve returned to the franchise in a creative capacity.
28 Years Later will be directed by Boyle from Garland’s script. Part Two will also be written by Garland, with a director determined later. The fact that all three of the primary creators of the original film are returning drew intense interest from streamers and studios, with a final round of bidding between Sony and Warner Bros. One component of the deal that was made available is that they were adamant about having a theatrical release. This will be the type of intense experience you’ll want to have on the big screen.
Boyle and Garland will also serve as producers, alongside Andrew Rice Macdonald, Bernie Bellew, and Peter Rice—Rice used to head up Fox Searchlight Pictures, which was the studio that originally backed the 2002 film. For Sony’s part, their chief, Tom Rothman, goes back more than 30 years with Boyle. He founded Fox Searchlight and worked alongside Boyle on eight films, including the Oscar-winning Slumdog Millionaire and 127 Hours.
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Featured image: LONDON, ENGLAND – OCTOBER 31: Director, Danny Boyle attends the 20th anniversary screening of “28 Days Later” at BFI Southbank on October 31, 2022 in London, England. The screening is part ‘In Dreams are Monsters’ A season of Horror Films. (Photo by Tim P. Whitby/Getty Images)