• “28 Years Later” needs Danny Boyle and Alex Garland involved to capture the character-driven approach and emotional depth of the original film.
  • The inclusion of the original “28 Days Later” cast, including Cillian Murphy, would provide closure to their storylines and add authenticity to the sequel.
  • Positive updates from Boyle, Garland, and Murphy suggest that a sequel is likely and that it has the potential to match or surpass the success of the first film.

28 Years Later will have to reinstate three important elements from Danny Boyle’s 28 Days Later to be successful. Over two decades have passed since 28 Days Later‘s release, but the movie’s unique take on the overly saturated zombie genre still ranks it among the most creative and hard-hitting horror movies of the early aughts. Even from a financial standpoint, Danny Boyle’s 28 Days Later was a lucrative endeavor since the film initially grossed over $80 million at the box office with a shoestring budget of $8 million.

The movie’s international acclaim and commercial success spawned a sequel in 2007, 28 Weeks Later. Unfortunately, the sequel could not match the high standards set by its predecessor, ultimately killing the potential of the zombie franchise. After all these years, a threequel titled 28 Years Later seems possible, but it can only work if it includes three crucial parts of the first movie in the franchise.

RELATED: 28 Years Later Would Finally Justify Danny Boyle’s Controversial 28 Days Later Ending Change

28 Years Later Needs Danny Boyle & Alex Garland Both Involved

28 Years Later Success Directors

28 Weeks Later is arguably a solid film in its own right. However, one cannot deny that it lacked the character-driven approach and contemplative narrative of the first film. Instead of adopting the emotional depth of 28 Days Later, Juan Carlos Fresnadillo’s 28 Weeks Later chose spectacle, driven by high-stakes situations and big-budget set pieces. Its emphasis on action made it more like the regular fare of zombie flicks and less like Danny Boyle’s original 28 Days Later, which revolutionized the zombie genre with its gritty realism.

While Danny Boyle’s quasi-documentary filming style for the movie played a crucial role in adding layers of authenticity to 28 Days Later‘s narrative, it was Alex Garland’s taut writing that made the characters relatable. Considering how the director-writer team-up between Danny Boyle and Alex Garland was the primary driver of 28 Days Later‘s success, it is fair to say that they are two of the three essential ingredients that need to be involved in 28 Years Later. Not to mention, Alex Garland has also honed his screenwriting and directorial skills by making critically acclaimed horror movies like Annihilation and Ex-Machina, which is another reason why he should return for 28 Years Later.

28 Years Later Needs The Original 28 Days Cast (Including Cillian Murphy)

Cillian Murphy as Jim and Naomie Harris as Selena in 28 Days Later

As its title suggests, 28 Years Later would unfold over two decades after the first film, highlighting the long-term impact of the Rage virus. Owing to this time jump and the real-time that has passed since the first movie’s release, it would make perfect sense for 28 Years Later to reinstate the 28 Days Later‘s cast. Although 28 Days Later had a fairly conclusive ending, where Jim, Selena, and Hannah got rescued, the film left enough room for more subsequent storylines that could explore how the trio would continue surviving in their post-apocalyptic world.

28 Days Later also made a mistake by not adopting one of its alternate endings. Out of three alternate endings planned during the movie’s production, one involved Jim dying from a gunshot wound towards the end. Since this alternate ending gave 28 Days Later higher stakes and realistically portrayed the unpredictability of the central zombie-ridden world, it was a better fit for the movie. By marking Cillian Murphy’s return as Jim in 28 Years Later, the franchise can finally give the character a heartbreaking but well-rounded closure, where he could sacrifice his life for the greater good and inspire survivors like Selena and Hannah to fight for the sustenance of humanity.

How Likely Is It 28 Years Later Will Get All 3 Key Components Back?

Custom image of Cillian Murphy running away from a flaming zombie and Murphy looking relieved in 28 Days Later.

Given how so many years have passed since 28 Days Later and 28 Weeks Later‘s release, it would be hard not to believe that a sequel will never see the light of day. Fortunately, both Alex Garland and Danny Boyle have given some positive updates surrounding its developments. In an interview (via Inverse), Alex Garland confirmed that an idea for 28 Years Later had materialized in his head, and Danny Boyle even liked it. Danny Boyle, too, confirmed that they are talking about the movie “quite seriously, quite diligently” and even claimed that he would be interested in directing it if Alex Garland steps back from the role.

Like Boyle and Garland, Cillian Murphy showed excitement towards the potential project when he was told about the updates surrounding its development. “I made two movies with both of those guys, and I would love to work with them again,” he affirmed (via The Independent). With so many forces from 28 Days Later willing to return for 28 Years Later, it would be realistic to believe that if it all goes well, the third part of the movie franchise will have the potential to match the first movie’s success, if not surpass it.

Sources: Inverse, The Independent

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