Cillian Murphy returns for 28 Years Later in “a surprising way”


28 Days Later star Cillian Murphy is said to be returning for the sequel 28 Years Later – but in a surprising way

28 Days Later director Danny Boyle and screenwriter Alex Garland are finally reuniting to make a sequel to their zombie (or, if you prefer, infected people) movie classic. As we reporter earlier this year, this sequel is set up at Sony, is going to be called 28 Years Later – and it may even launch a whole trilogy of 28 Days Later sequels. Last year, 28 Days Later star Cillian Murphy said he’d gladly be in a sequel if it was made by Boyle and Garland, and when this project was announced, it was confirmed that Murphy is on board as an executive producer… but as months have gone by and Boyle has assembled the cast, it’s remained unclear whether or not Murphy will actually appear in the movie. Now Sony Motion Pictures Group chairman Tom Rothman has told Deadline that Murphy is back for 28 Years Later, but he’s coming back in “a surprising way.”

Deadline asked Rothman what Sony projects he’s excited for, and he included 28 Years Later on the list: “I think I’ve made eight movies with Danny Boyle and I hold him in the Pantheon and we have his new 28 Days trilogy. It’s 28 Years Later, but not in any way a literal sequel.

When asked if Murphy, who just won a Best Actor Oscar for his performance in Oppenheimer, is back for this sequel / these sequels, Rothman said, “Yes, but in a surprising way and in a way that grows, let me put it that way. This is Danny at his best, combined with a very commercial genre, like we had with Edgar Wright and Baby Driver. Sometimes when you put a real signature director into a commercial arena, it elevates it.

If or when Murphy appears in 28 Years Later, his co-stars will include Jodie Comer (The Bikeriders), Aaron Taylor-Johnson (The Fall Guy), and Ralph Fiennes (Conclave).

In the original film, Murphy played bicycle courier Jim, who wakes up from a coma to find himself in an apocalyptic England that’s overrun by people who have been infected by a rage virus. Boyle and Garland went through several endings for 28 Days Later before landing on the one movie-goers saw in theatres – and that ending was the only one where Jim survived. So he’s still out there, ready to live through another rage virus nightmare 28 years later. As The Hollywood Reporter previously noted, “The 2002 film grossed $82.7 million globally and spawned a sequel, 2007’s 28 Weeks Later, though Boyle and Garland were only nominally involved as executive producers.”

Garland is already writing the screenplay for the sequel that will come after 28 Years Later. Of the two 28 Years Later projects currently in the works, Boyle is only planning to direct the first one. For the second film, he’ll be passing the helm over to Candyman and The Marvels director Nia DaCosta. Thanks to their deal with Sony, each of these new films will be receiving a theatrical release and will have budgets in the $60 million range.

Boyle and Garland are producing 28 Years Later with Bernie Bellew, original producer Andrew Macdonald, and Peter Rice, who was the head of Fox Searchlight Pictures when that company backed 28 Days Later. As mentioned, Murphy is executive producing. The film is scheduled to reach theatres on June 20th, 2025.

Are you looking forward to 28 Years Later? What sort of appearance would you like to see Cillian Murphy make in the film? Let us know by leaving a comment below.

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