Danny Boyle Talks Third ’28 Days Later’ Script and why British Aren’t Great Filmmakers

Danny Boyle would be “tempted” to complete a ’28 Days Later’ trilogy.

The Oscar-winning director helmed the 2002 horror flick – but not the 2007 follow-up ’28 Weeks Later’ – and explained that the opportunity to adapt Alex Garland’s script for ’28 Months Later’ appeals to him. From a thwarted James Bond film to an upcoming “The Matrix” stage play, Danny Boyle knows the world of franchises.

Yet the one that is still intoxicating to the writer-director remains “28 Days Later,” which celebrated its 20th anniversary in November 2022. The concept for a third film, penned by Alex Garland (“Men”), has been a contagious idea since 2019.

In an anniversary panel discussion with director Boyle and “28 Days Later” lead Cillian Murphy, an update on the “lovely idea” for franchise installment “28 Months Later” was divulged.

“I’d be very tempted [to direct it],” Boyle revealed. “It feels like a very good time actually. It’s funny, I hadn’t thought about it until you just said it, and I remembered ‘Bang, this script!’ which is again set in England, very much about England. Anyway, we’ll see…who knows?”

“28 Days Later” premiered in 2002 and centered on Jim (Murphy), a man who wakes up from a coma four weeks after a mysterious virus turned a majority of the population into zombies. Naomie Harris, Megan Burns, and Brendan Gleeson played fellow survivors. Sequel “28 Weeks Later” was released in 2007, with Juan Carlos Fresnadillo directing and Jeremy Renner and Imogen Poots starring.

“It’s actually come to haunt us [since COVID],” Boyle said of the post-apocalyptic concept. “We complain how overcrowded [cities] are and about the stress, and then in an instant, life as we know it in many, many different forms can empty them.”

Still, Boyle stressed that a “28 days” threequel would need to be a theatrical experience.

“It might come back into focus because one of the things that’s happening in the business at the moment is it has to be a big reason for you to go to the cinema, because there are less and less reasons,” Boyle said. “It’s hard for companies distributing films and for cinema chains to show films, they’re struggling to get people into the cinema unless it’s something like ‘Top Gun: Maverick’ or a Marvel. But a third part would get people in, if it was half-decent.”

“It really stands up, which is amazing for a film that’s 20 years old,” Cillian Murphy said. “So yeah, I love the idea, and it’s very appealing to me.”

Former lead star Murphy joked that there is only one “problem” with a third film: “I’m 20 years older…,” he said. “But every time I do bump into Danny or Alex I always mention it. Because I showed it to my kids recently, some Halloween about four or five years ago, and they loved it. It really stands up, which is amazing for a film that’s 20 years old. So yeah, I love the idea and it’s very appealing to me.”

Danny Boyle Gets Blunt About British Cinema: ‘I’m Not Sure We Are the Greatest Filmmakers’

The Oscar winner, best known for “Trainspotting” and “Slumdog Millionaire,” thinks his home country is better at making pop music than movies

Danny Boyle, who earned his first Academy Award nomination for “Trainspotting” in 1996 and won the Oscar for Best Director for “Slumdog Millionaire” in 2008 (amid a slew of other awards nods). So naturally, Boyle’s recent lecture for BFI seemed an ideal opportunity to celebrate his country’s contributions to cinema — at least in theory. But, as it turns out, the 66-year-old filmmaker doesn’t think there’s that much to celebrate at all.

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Stevie Flavio
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