15 years since the last movie, here is the latest on 28 Months Later
The under-appreciated horror sequel 28 Weeks Later was released in cinemas on this date in 2007.
Released in cinemas on 11 May, 2007, five years after the first movie, 28 Weeks Later arrived to better reviews (78% on Metacritic, compared to the original's 73%), one of those in-hindsight-incredibly-stacked-casts (Idris Elba, Jeremy Renner, Rose Byrne, Imogen Poots, Robert Carlyle), but despite a bigger budget it still resulted in a less impressive box office ($64 million, compared to the original's $86 million).
Regardless, pretty much from the moment the sequel arrived in cinemas, people have been asking about the next entry in the series, mostly because (15-YEAR-OLD SPOILERS AHEAD), the movie ends with the zombie horde having escaped England and about to unleash chaos in Paris.
As you may have picked up from the headline, we're 15 years on from that movie, and there is still no sign of 28 Months Later. So, what happened there?
It is a question that Danny Boyle (director of the original, executive producer of the sequel) and Alex Garland (writer of the original, with some screenplay input on the sequel) have been asked at pretty much every single opportunity over the last decade-and-a-half.
Boyle and Garland couldn't return for 28 Weeks Later, as they were both busy working on 2007's Sunshine, but it was Boyle who picked director Juan Carlos Fresnadillo to helm the sequel, mostly off the back of his incredible 2001 movie Intacto.
Upon the subsequent movie's good-but-not-great box office release, Fox stated in June 2007 that a third movie would be contingent on how well the DVD of 28 Weeks Later sold. A month later, while on the promotional tour for Sunshine, Danny Boyle told MTV that "There is an idea for the next one, something which would move the story on. I've got to think about it, whether it's right or not."
Jump forward to 2010, and while promoting Never Let Me Go, when asked about the third movie, Garland told Worst Previews there was complications going on behind the scenes: "I'll answer that completely honestly. When we made 28 Days Later, the rights were frozen between a group of people who are no longer talking to each other. And so, the film is never going to happen unless those people start talking to each other again. There is no script as far as I'm aware."
In 2013, while promoting Trance, Boyle was once again asked about the threequel, telling Dark Horizons:"[I]t's 40/60 whether [a sequel] happens or not. But we did have an idea of where to set it and what it might be about." Boyle wouldn't share what his concepts were "because they'll end up in The Walking Dead."
Jump to 2015, and while promoting Ex Machina, IGN brought up the sequel, with Garland telling them: "We've just started talking about it seriously. We've got an idea. Danny [Boyle] and [producer] Andrew [Macdonald] and I have been having quite serious conversations about it so it is a possibility. It's complicated. There's a whole bunch of reasons why it's complicated, which are boring so I won't go into, but there's a possibility."
Garland even semi-hinted at the prospect of a fourth movie, adding "It's more likely to be 28 Months than 28 Years. 28 months gives you one more place to go."
In 2019, once again, Boyle said that the movie was somewhat in works, while in 2020 and 2021 respectively, both Imogen Poots and Cillian Murphy stated they'd be interested in returning as their characters to the series.
And now, here we are in 2022, a full 15 years later, and still no third movie.
Both Boyle and Garland are also about to release their latest projects, too. Boyle's new series Pistol - all about the legendary band The Sex Pistols - with all episodes arriving on Disney+ on Tuesday, 31 May...
...meanwhile, Garland has successfully migrated into the realm of directing (Ex Machina, Annihilation), and his new project is psychological horror Men, starring Ireland's own Jessie Buckley, which will arrive in cinemas here on Wednesday, 1 May.
So we can probably expect them both to be asked about 28 Months Later while promoting their new projects. In fact, Yahoo! Entertainment already brought it up again with Garland while he was promoting Men, and he gave an in-depth answer on the constant back-and-forth:
"It's possible. It's one of those things. Everybody needs to want to do it and, every now and then, partly because I think about paying off my mortgage or something like that, I think, 'Hmm, that would be a good idea.' But then, me personally, I never quite have enough motivation to follow it through.
"A long time has passed and 28 Days Later, when it arrived [it was] fresh, and I don't think it's fresh anymore. I think it actually, speaking of conversations, 28 Days Later joined the zombie conversation, that genre. It did its thing, which is great. It was nice to be part of that, really.
"I have got a really cool idea for it, but it's a much bigger movie, and one of the things about 28 Days Later is that it was small and punk and this idea is less small and punk. But me and Danny speak about it. Every couple of years it will come up, or going, 'Do you want to do that?' and then for some reason it never happens."
Finally, at the time of writing, should you want to (re)watch them, both 28 Days Later and 28 Weeks Later are available to watch on Disney+.