After more than 15 years, Danny Boyle and Alex Garland are headed back to the zombie universe they started in the early 2000s. Sony Pictures has officially secured the rights to 28 Years Later which, as the title implies, will be a sequel to 2002’s 28 Days Later and 2007’s 28 Weeks Later. Not only are Boyle and Garland both directly involved, but they now have the backing of a major studio that will give the film a wide theatrical release. It’s a best-case scenario for fans of zombie cinema.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Sony came out on top after a bidding war broke out over the sequel. Word recently broke that Boyle and Garland had put together a packed for the film, which is intended to kick off a potential new trilogy. Boyle will return to the director’s chair with Garland penning the screenplay. The duo worked together on 28 Days Later and were only minimally involved with 28 Weeks Later, which was directed by Juan Carlos Fresnadillo. If another sequel does end up happening, Boyle would not direct but Garland would still handle scripting duties. Given that Garland has directed films like Annihilation and Men, there’s no reason he couldn’t step into the director’s chair, in theory. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves.
Plot details for the film are currently being kept under wraps. That said, it will evidently pick up decades after the events of the first film, which served as Cillian Murphy’s cinematic breakout role. To that end, it’s been confirmed that Murphy is going to return as an executive producer. The report notes that he “could also possibly act in the project,” but that has yet to be confirmed. To that end, no cast members have been confirmed for the film at this time. Now that Sony is on board though, things figure to come together in a hurry.
One thing that Sony had to commit to is a sizable budget. THR says that the film’s budget will be in the $60 million range, which is an awful lot for a horror movie. Generally, one of the reasons studios love horror so much is that it can be made on the cheap (relatively speaking) with massive upside potential. It appears as though Boyle and Garland have big plans for this one though.
28 Days Later was a big success in its day. Made for just $8 million, it pulled in $82 million at the global box office. 28 Weeks Later was also successful, only less so, taking in $64 million against a higher $15 million budget. For years, Boyle and Garland discussed the possibility of making another sequel which would have been called 28 Months Later. But enough time has passed that those months turned into years.
28 Years Later does not currently have a release date.