28 Days Later Sequel Gets an Exciting Update

Director Danny Boyle and writer Alex Garland have some good news for people waiting for a third movie in the 28 Days later franchise.

You know, there didn’t need to be a sequel to 28 Days Later. The influential zombie movie by Danny Boyle and Alex Garland had a pretty definitive ending, with the rage virus seemingly burnt out in the UK and help coming from overseas.

But then came the surprisingly solid sequel 28 Weeks Later in 2007, in which director Juan Carlos Fresnadillo told an interesting Gulf War allegory starring Robert Carlyle, Idris Elba, and Jeremy Renner. That’s when we all started asking, “What about 28 Years Later?”

We still have a way to go before we hit the 28th anniversary of the 2002 release of 28 Days Later, but Boyle and screenwriter Alex Garland are ready to start planning. In an oral history of the movie published by Inverse, Garland revealed that “a few years ago an idea materialized in my head for what would be really 28 Years Later. Danny always liked the idea.”

Indeed, Boyle likes the idea so much that he’s ready to get started. “So we’re talking about it quite seriously, quite diligently,” the director told Inverse. “If [Garland] doesn’t want to direct it himself I’ll be well up for it, if we can execute a similarly good idea.”

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These quotes are consistent with what the duo has said in the past, most recently in November 2022. That’s when Boyle told NME about his enthusiasm for Garland’s script and the possibility that the writer would also direct, making it his fifth movie behind the camera after Ex Machina, Annihilation, Men, and the upcoming Civil War. But even then, Boyle expressed hope that he could direct the movie if Garland isn’t interested, in part because the movie has a good chance of getting studio backing.

“It might come back into focus because one of the things that’s happening in the business at the moment is it has to be a big reason for you to go to the cinema, because there are less and less reasons,” said Boyle in 2022. “It’s hard for companies distributing films and for cinema chains to show films, they’re struggling to get people into the cinema unless it’s something like Top Gun: Maverick or a Marvel. But a third part would get people in, if it was half-decent.”

But the recent oral history provides a new wrinkle on the project, which may account for the delay. “I resisted it for a long time because there were things about 28 Weeks that bugged me,” confessed Garland. “I just thought, ‘Fuck that. I’d rather try to write a different story in a different world’.” Of course, Garland’s always had a bit of a sour opinion of his own work, even describing his 28 Days Later script as “very derivative: a twist on Resident Evil and The Day of the Triffids chief among the various influences.”

Hopefully, Garland and Boyle can come up with a plan soon, or we’ll need to start talking about 28 Decades Later, which we also don’t need but now we kinda want.