Resident Evil wasn’t the only franchise that explored the possibility of a virus that turned people into zombie-like creatures in the early 2000s. 28 Days Later explored the disaster that ensues when an incurable virus spreads throughout the unprepared UK, as a handful of survivors are trying to find a way to survive. Zombie movies have become increasingly popular in society over the years, and after the events of the COVID-19 pandemic, the pop culture surrounding virus outbreaks has been more popular than ever. Movies like 28 Days Later, series like The Walking Dead and video games like The Last of Us have risen to popularity once again, and there seems to be a lot of momentum for a third instalment.
28 Days Later
“Animal activists invade a laboratory intending to release chimpanzees that are undergoing experimentation, infected by a virus- a virus that causes rage. The naïve activists ignore the pleas of a scientist to keep the cages locked, with disastrous results. Twenty-eight days later, our protagonist, Jim, wakes up from a coma, alone, in an abandoned hospital. He begins to seek out anyone else to find London deserted, apparently without a living soul. After finding a church, which had become inhabited by zombie-like humans intent on his demise, he runs for his life. Selena and Mark rescue him from the horde and bring him up to date on the mass carnage and horror as all of London tore itself apart. This is a tale of survival and ultimately, heroics, with nice subtext about mankind’s savage nature.”
The movie was first released in 2002 and told the story of a virus that leads to the breakdown of society. There was even a sequel released in 2007 called 28 Weeks Later. Now, since a huge surge in popularity, thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic, interest in the franchise is at an all-time high, and it seems like not only fans want a sequel. But is 28 Months Later actually happening?
Director Danny Boyle described the thought of a sequel as a ‘lovely idea’, teasing that he would be on board to return as director for the third project if asked. He told NME, “I’d be very tempted [to direct it]. It feels like a very good time actually. It’s funny, I hadn’t thought about it until you just said it, and I remembered, ‘Bang, this script!’ which is again set in England, very much about England. Anyway, we’ll see…who knows?”
The script that he mentioned is the one that has already been written by Alex Garland, the screenwriter who also wrote 28 Days Later.
Cillian Murphy, who played Jim in the first movie, is famously known for his role as Tommy Shelby in the wildly successful Peaky Blinders and didn’t appear in the 28 franchise’s second instalment, but shared that he would be interested in a possible third (28 Months Later), saying to GamesRadar, “Every time I do bump into Danny or Alex I always mention it because I showed it to my kids recently, some Halloween about four or five years ago, and they loved it. It really stands up, which is amazing for a film that’s 20 years old. So yeah, I love the idea and it’s very appealing to me.”
The script is ready, the old main character and the director are ready, and all we need is for the pieces to continue to fall into place. Let’s hope 28 Months Later gets off the ground soon.