28 Days Later: Danny Boyle confirms script for a third film and he’s ‘tempted’ to direct

 (Twentieth Century Fox)
(Twentieth Century Fox)

A script for 28 Days Later part three has been completed, says director Danny Boyle, and fans of the pandemic-horror will be thrilled to know that Cillian Murphy may also be on board to return to the franchise, saying the idea is “very appealing”.

In an interview with NME published this week for the 20-year anniversary of the film, Boyle said that a part three script, 28 Months Later, by the original’s writer Alex Garland, was in fact completed years ago. Boyle said the new script had “a lovely idea” at the heart of it and that he’d, “be very tempted [to direct it]. 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?” he said.

In the same interview, NME also spoke to Murphy about the possibility of returning to the franchise. He said: “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.”

Boyle, who most recently directed the Disney+ series Pistol, said: “[A third film] 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... 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.”

Fans turned online to share their enthusiasm about the possibility of a new film. “28 days later is the best horror film and 28 weeks later has the best opening scene to exist in horror (in my humble opinion) let’s GO,” Tweeted one, while another, slightly jumping the gun, said, “We’re getting another 28 days later movie i used to pray for times like these.”

The first instalment of 28 days later, which was released in 2002, starred Murphy as a courier who wakes up from a coma to find London completely deserted. A highly contagious ‘Rage’ virus, which came from an infected chimp from a medical research lab, has caused the breakdown of society, and now he must learn how to survive. Naomie Harris and Brendan Gleeson also starred.

The film, which was an instant hit, grossing more than $82.7 million on a budget of $8 million, was written by British writer and filmmaker Garland (who went on to adapt 2010’s Never Let Me Go and write 2014’s Ex Machina) and was directed by Boyle.

In 2007, its sequel 28 Weeks Later was released. It had a different team behind it - Juan Carlos Fresnadillo directed and Rowan Joffé (who later wrote 2010’s Brighton Rock) penned the script - but was another hit, earning $64 million worldwide on a$15 million budget. It starred Robert Carlyle, Rose Byrne, Jeremy Renner, Imogen Poots and Idris Elba and told the story of two siblings who try and find their infected mother in a locked-down London.