Resurrecting Horror: Cillian Murphy’s Return and the Unveiling of ’28 Years Later



Cillian Murphy is set to make a triumphant return to the iconic horror franchise with his involvement in “28 Years Later,” the eagerly anticipated third installment following the 2002 breakout film, “28 Days Later,” and its 2007 sequel, “28 Weeks Later.”

In a recent development, Culver City-based studio emerged victorious in a competitive bidding war for the sequel, titled “28 Years Later.” The renowned duo, director Danny Boyle and writer Alex Garland, have joined forces once again to craft this new chapter. While Boyle is set to direct the first project, the director for the sequel’s Part 2 is yet to be determined. Murphy, who gained fame from the original film, is not only returning as an executive producer but may also grace the screen in a role yet to be disclosed.

The plot of “28 Days Later” introduced a rage virus causing chaos in the UK, while its sequel, “28 Weeks Later,” delved into the challenges of repopulation after the apparent eradication of the virus. Murphy’s potential return in “28 Years Later” hinges on his character Jim, who survived the events of the first film but remained unmentioned in the sequel, leaving his fate uncertain.

Despite the complexities of the virus spreading in continental Europe during the sequel, the narrative provides a window for Jim’s return. However, Murphy’s commitment to the project remains a key factor, considering his busy schedule, highlighted by an Oscar nomination for his role in Christopher Nolan’s 2023 hit, “Oppenheimer.” Even if Murphy cannot take on a substantial on-screen role, his involvement as a producer could facilitate a cameo appearance, revealing Jim’s fate.

The actor has previously embraced the post-apocalyptic horror genre, as seen in his role opposite Emily Blunt in the 2021 sequel, “A Quiet Place Part II.” While Murphy’s return is eagerly anticipated, the possibility of other “28 Days Later” characters making a comeback remains open.

In the competitive landscape of Hollywood, the sequel attracted interest from various studios, with Warner Bros. and Sony emerging as the final contenders. The reunion of Boyle and Garland, akin to George Miller’s success with “Mad Max: Fury Road,” adds significant appeal to the project.

Boyle and Garland, along with original producer Andrew Macdonald and industry veteran Peter Rice, are set to produce the movie. Sony, equipped with a unique advantage in the auction, leveraged a longstanding relationship between studio head Tom Rothman and Boyle, reinforcing the studio’s position.

The article also delves into the collaborative history of Boyle and Garland, emphasizing their impact on revitalizing the zombie genre through “28 Days Later.” The 2002 film’s success paved the way for subsequent zombie-themed titles, solidifying their influence in the genre.

As the anticipation builds for “28 Years Later,” the return of Cillian Murphy, coupled with the creative synergy of Boyle and Garland, promises a thrilling continuation of the iconic horror franchise.