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’28 Years Later’: Everything we Know so far

Sony Pictures recently announced that the third installment to the heavily loved British, zombie horror series, ’28 Days Later’ will hit theatres summer 2025.

'28 Days Later' poster art. Credit: Youtube/The Thrifty Typewriter
'28 Days Later' poster art. Credit: Youtube/The Thrifty Typewriter

Starting over two decades ago and winning an Empire Award in 2003, 28 Days Later has since become a cult hit, taking in over $84.6 million worldwide. The original 2002 film received a sequel in 2007, but 28 Weeks Later has since laid dormant. Director Danny Boyle and writer Alex Garland is returning for the latest film next year in hopes of starting a trilogy.

When will it release?

Brendan Gleeson Cillian Murphy and Naomie Harris in '28 Days Later'. Credit: Youtube/The Thrifty Typewriter
Brendan Gleeson, Cillian Murphy and Naomie Harris in ’28 Days Later.’ Credit: Youtube/The Thrifty Typewriter

Sony Pictures plans to release the first film of the trilogy, 28 years later, on June 20, 2025, which means there’ll be a 22-year gap between it and the original. Parts one and two will be shot back-to-back in a similar fashion to The Strangers Chapter 1, released last month. The first part began filming on May 26.

Release in early June will mean the zombie sequel will be up against some big competition with the likes of The Black Phone 2, John Wick Presents: Ballerina and How to Train Your Dragon.

Cast and Crew

Cillian Murphy. Credit: Shutterstock/Fred Duval
Cillian Murphy. Credit: Shutterstock/Fred Duval

Recent Oscar winner, Cillian Murphy will reprise his role as Jim, the protagonist we follow in the original film as he awakens in a deserted London, soon meeting survivors, Selene (Naomie Harris) and Hannah (Megan Burns). Though his role is described as brief, it can be presumed that we’ll see him take centre stage in the subsequent entries. Early reports also say Murphy will serve as executive producer for the film alongside Bernie Bellew.

The ensemble cast currently includes Jodie Comer (Killing Eve), Jack O’Connell (who is listed as a mainstay of the trilogy), Ralph Fiennes and Aaron Taylor Johnson (Kick Ass). Candyman Nia DaCosta is in talks to direct the second part with the third part still undisclosed.

Story

Cillian Murphy as Jim in '28 Days Later'. Credit: 20th Century Studios
Cillian Murphy as Jim in ’28 Days Later.’ Credit: 20th Century Studios

The original film is famously known for its sprawling, real-time landscapes of London as ‘rage-infected’ zombies terrifyingly dash after our survivors. It seems the threequel is diverging from that, where instead of filming on a small English island, known as ‘Holy Island,’ it’s filming in other locations like Newcastle and Kielder Forest.

In an interview with Deadline, Cillian talks about reprising his role as Jim and how he shows up in the threequel, “Yes [he does], but in a surprising way and in a way that grows, let me put it that way.”

Selene’s character got expanded upon in comic format, yet the fates of Jim and Hannah were left a slight mystery, with Jim facing a supposed death row execution and Hannah getting sent to foster care. We can assume the threequel will discard this timeline and start a new canon. Though mentions of these characters getting reprised haven’t been announced, it can be assumed we’ll learn of their fates from Jim.

Why now?

Cillian Murphy as Jim in '28 Days Later'. Credit: 20th Century Studios
Cillian Murphy as Jim in ’28 Days Later.’ Credit: 20th Century Studios

Plans for a follow-up have been discussed numerously, with the title, 28 Months Later, being thrown around quite a lot. In 2022, Danny Boyle revealed that a script had been written, teasing, “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?” – IndieWire.

While Cillian Murphy found his career in the likes of 28 Days Later and Peaky Blinders, the Oppenheimer Academy Award winner is now returning to his roots, working with the same team that started it all. In an interview with Variety, the 48-year-old expresses the importance of the film, saying, “I’ve always said I would love to be involved because that movie changed everything for me. I have great affection for it and for those guys [Alex and Danny]. I never watch my own films, except that one.”

“It’s always on around Halloween and during the pandemic people were constantly sending me clips. And I’ve shown it to my kids. It’s really stood up, even though it’s 22 years old now, so I’m really thrilled that we’ll get the band back together to make this one.”

Streaming and Physical Media

The original film currently can’t be legally watched on any of the popular digital streaming platforms. This growing worry in the industry stems from the removal of Netflix’s original, Hush from the streaming service. Worse, Hush never had a DVD release like 28 Days Later meaning it cannot be watched at all.

If you’re looking to buy a Blu-ray copy of 28 Days Later, expect to find prices upward of $60. The only remaining cost-effective option is the standard quality DVD. Luckily its sequel, 28 Weeks Later, is still widely available, for now.

Revitalising the genre

Zombie media saw its spike in the early 2000s and recently saw a resurgence with the likes of HBO Max’s, The Last of Us, now on its second season and The Walking Dead franchise getting a slew of spin-off shows. But it’s the cinema experience that’s seen a slow decay as of late, with the last big zombie hit being 2016’s, Train to Busan.

Will 28 Years Later change this? With directing and writing duo, Danny Boyle and Alex Garland back, we have high hopes it will.

28 Years Later will be released on June 20, 2025.

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