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28 Years Later Has Found A Major Studio Home, And Cillian Murphy Is Now Involved

 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.

Earlier this month, horror fans were delivered some incredible news. After years of waiting, it was officially announced not only that Danny Boyle and Alex Garland were reteaming to make 28 Years Later – a new sequel to 28 Days Later and 28 Weeks Later – but that the project would potentially set up even more new movies. Hearing all of that was exciting enough, but now things have actually gotten even better. In addition to the project finding a home at a major studio, it has been revealed that Cillian Murphy has come aboard as an executive producer, and there's a chance he will reprise his breakout role as Jim.

The latest update about 28 Years Later comes from The Hollywood Reporter. While there were many studios bidding to partner with Danny Boyle and Alex Garland on the project, Sony has won out and is now set up to make the film. The trade report says that Garland is going to be writing both 28 Years Later and a "Part 2," and Boyle is presently attached to direct the former but not the latter.

For those who don't recall, the original 28 Days Later is set in London less than a month after the outbreak of a deadly contagion called the Rage Virus. Much like zombies, those who become infected lose their ability to rationally think and get the instinct to attack those who are not infected (infecting them in the process), but the big difference is that they are not undead and basically always move at a full sprint. Cillian Murphy's Jim is introduced as a bicycle courier who wakes up from a coma to find that the city he lives in has been decimated. He ends up finding other survivors – for better and for ill – and while multiple endings were shot for the movie, the version that went to theaters saw Jim surviving along with his friends Selena (Naomie Harris) and Hannah (Megan Burns).

If Murphy does end up reprising his role in 28 Years Later, one has to wonder if Harris and Burns will come back as well.

Made with an $8 million budget (per Box Office Mojo), 28 Days Later was a massive hit that earned $84.6 million during its theatrical run, and the sequel 28 Weeks Later was released five years later without Danny Boyle, Alex Garland or Cillian Murphy in their original roles (Boyle and Garland are credited only as executive producers). Sporting a stellar cast including Imogen Poots, Robert Carlyle, Rose Byrne, Idris Elba, Jeremy Renner and Harold Perrineau, the follow-up film is arguably underrated, but compared to its predecessor, it underperformed at the box office. There was chatter about another installment for years – with discussion about 28 Months Later as the angle – but only now is the project becoming a reality as 28 Years Later and the untitled 28 Years Later: Part 2.

The timetable for the exciting feature is unknown, but the latest report about the movies says that a theatrical release was a priority for Danny Boyle and Alex Garland during negotiations. It's also said that the two movies will have respective budgets "in the $60 million range," which means that they will be substantially bigger than the previous two franchise entries (28 Weeks Later was made for $15 million, according to The Numbers). Stay tuned here on CinemaBlend for all of the latest updates about 28 Years Later and its immediate follow-up, and you can get a preview of all the scary films on the horizon with our Upcoming Horror Movies guide.