It hasn’t been 28 years since 28 Days Later became a surprise smash hit and totally revitalized the zombie genre for a new generation. But it’s been enough years — 22 and counting as of this writing — that the idea of doing a sequel called 28 Years Later now makes a lot of sense.

The original film did get one sequel previously; 2007’s 28 Weeks Later, which continued the story of a world under siege from extremely fast-moving zombies. The creators missed their chance for a 28 Months Later. But a 28 Years Later? Well, they’re ahead of schedule for that sort of film.

Or maybe a trilogy? The Hollywood Reporter says that 28 Days Later director Danny Boyle and writer Alex Garland are ready to re-team for just such a project — and that instead of one sequel, they hope to make three, with Boyle attached to direct the first film and Garland planning to write all three. The project is ready to shopped to be studios imminently.

Cillian Murphy in 28 Days Later
Fox Searchlight Pictures

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It seems extremely likely that someone will buy the concept — especially since Boyle and Garland are involved. The original film grossed $85 million in theaters, more than ten times its budget, then became a home video staple. In its wake, all sorts of new zombie films and shows got greenlit; AMC practically became The Walking Dead channel between all of the various shows and spinoffs from that very similar property they have released through the years. And the basis for the 28 Days Later franchise’s zombie outbreak — essentially a deadly virus that escapes from a lab — only makes the concept more vital and scary today than when the movie was first released.

That film’s original innovation, in addition to its grungy digital photography and eerie scenes of an abandoned London — another element of the movie that seemed disturbingly prescient amidst the lockdowns of 2020 — was its introduction of fast-moving zombies instead of the plodding, brainless hordes who’d typified the genre to that point. Which raises the question: What horrifying nightmare will Boyle and Garland introduce this time?

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