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28 Years Later: 7 Questions I Have Concerning Danny Boyle's Long-Awaited Sequel

 Cillian Murphy stands in front of a desolate London in 28 Days Later.
Cillian Murphy stands in front of a desolate London in 28 Days Later.

I have been obsessed with 28 Days Later ever since I first saw the trailer when my dad took me to see X2: X-Men United back in May 2003. Since then, I’ve watched it countless times and still consider it one of the best zombie apocalypse movies, even though the infected aren’t really undead ghouls. So, you can imagine how stoked I was to hear that Danny Boyle and Alex Garland were re-teaming for 28 Years Later.

After the initial shock and awe wore off after hearing the news in January 2024, I immediately began to think about questions I had regarding the upcoming horror movie. There are a lot of things we don’t yet know about the long-awaited sequel, especially when it comes to its story and how it fits into the franchise, so I decided to share them with you. Let’s rage!

28 Days Later… cast
28 Days Later… cast

Will The Survivors From 28 Days Later Play A Part?

Depending on which 28 Days Later ending you watch, there are any number of survivors from the first movie that could hypothetically still be alive when 28 Years Later picks back up. Though Frank (Brendan Gleeson) is long gone after being infected by a drop of blood falling from a crow’s beak, Jim (Cillian Murphy), Selena (Naomie Harris), and Hannah (Megan Burns) made it until the credits, after escaping the army fortress and being spotted by a fighter jet.

But even if they are still alive nearly 30 years later, will they play a role in the new movie? Murphy previously told The Independent that he would be there “in a flash” to reprise his role, but the question remains about how they’d make it work. Regardless, I’d be down to see the Oppenheimer actor and his co-stars reprise their roles.

Cillian Murphy looks up to the sky smiling in 28 Days Later.
Cillian Murphy looks up to the sky smiling in 28 Days Later.

Were The Attempts At Making A Cure In 28 Weeks Later Successful?

Though not as well-regarded as its predecessor, 28 Weeks Later is an awesome horror sequel that further expands the franchise. One of the main plot points of the film was the mission to come up with a cure for the Rage virus and attempt to bring things back to normal. Since we don’t know anything about the story that will be told in 28 Years Later, I’m left wondering if those attempts were fruitful, either briefly or in the long run, or was it all for nothing and violent infected hordes still plague the streets of London?

Jeremy Renner in 28 Weeks Later
Jeremy Renner in 28 Weeks Later

Has The Infection Made Its Way Across The World Or Is It Still Contained To Europe

Sticking with 28 Weeks Later, the 2007 movie ends with a group of infected coming out of a Paris Metro station, implying that the virus had made it out of the supposedly contained England and into mainland Europe. This kind of branches off my previous question, but has the virus spread across the world in the nearly 30 years since the initial outbreak or was it somehow contained to the European continent?

Either way, this could lead to some great things when 28 Years Later finally comes around as it can either focus on the containment measures put in place or show a world completely ravaged by the spread of the virus. With the way Alex Garland has been crafting stories over the past decade or so, this could be a great aspect to explore.

Cillian Murphy in 28 Days Later
Cillian Murphy in 28 Days Later

What Is Society Like Decades Into The Rage Outbreak?

Ever since hearing about 28 Years Later, I’ve been wondering what is society going to be like decades after the natural order of things was thrown into chaos. Will it be like other intense post-apocalyptic movies in which the survivors live in some dystopian world and are essentially trapped in “safety zones,” or will that cure mentioned earlier be successful? Even if it’s the latter, it could very well be a situation where the cure worked for a short time but things have since gotten worse and further devolved to a point where it was worse off than the early days in London back in 28 Days Later.

Naomie Harris and Cillian Murphy lurching forward in a freeze frame in 28 Days Later.
Naomie Harris and Cillian Murphy lurching forward in a freeze frame in 28 Days Later.

(Image credit: Searchlight Pictures)

Have The Infected Evolved Over The Years?

One thing I love about George A. Romero’s Dead movies and video games like The Last of Us (as well as its HBO adaptation) is how they handle the evolution of zombies throughout their respective franchises. The zombies in Night of the Living Dead struggle to do just about anything besides eat flesh, but by the time Land of the Dead comes around, they can lead packs and use weapons. The nature of the infected is different in the 28 Days Later universe in terms of them not technically being undead, but I would love to see the Rage-infected ghouls evolve or mutate.

This could be the ability to have semi-intelligent thoughts and problem-solving skills or have different variations. A massive infected monster like the Rat King from The Last of Us: Part II would be absolutely terrifying but so much fun to watch.

Imogen Poots in 28 Weeks Later
Imogen Poots in 28 Weeks Later

Will The Potential Trilogy Start A New Story?

When The Hollywood Reporter first announced that 28 Years Later was actually happening, it was reported that the movie could potentially be the start of a new trilogy, which is great news for fans of the franchise. But with the prospect of a new trilogy comes all kinds of questions regarding its overreaching story and how it connects to the previous two films.

I keep wondering if the upcoming movie and its possible sequels will start fresh and take a page from George A. Romero’s playbook in that they are set in the same universe but focus on completely different characters. Or will we meet new survivors and stick with them for three movies if everything goes as planned?

Naomie Harris works a sewing machine in 28 Days Later's alternate ending.
Naomie Harris works a sewing machine in 28 Days Later's alternate ending.

Are We Going To Spend More Time Learning About The Rage Virus?

Another thing I’d like to see in 28 Years Later is a further examination of the Rage virus that allows us to know more about its origins and properties, especially if it has mutated or evolved in the nearly 30 years since it was first unleashed upon the world. The first scene of 28 Days Later showed primates being subjected to an onslaught of violent imagery after being injected with the serum and later attacking the group of animal rights activists who thought they were doing the right thing, but it would be cool to learn more about the lab and the whole operation in general.

What We Know About The Sequel

Cillian Murphy in 28 Days Later.
Cillian Murphy in 28 Days Later.

28 Years Later: What We Know So Far About The Long-Awaited Horror Sequel

I think learning more about the virus could be key to the story, especially if the plan for a new trilogy comes to fruition.

Will all of these questions be answered when 28 Years Later finally arrives somewhere down the road? I’m not entirely sure. But I am positive it’s going to be one hell of a ride when it does happen. And with Alex Garland’s next project, A24’s Civil War, set for release in April 2024, we might be hearing more very, very soon.