Everything we know about 28 Years Later

Danny Boyle re-teams with screenwriter Alex Garland star Cillian Murphy

Danny Boyle, Cillian Murphy and Alex Garland
Danny Boyle, Cillian Murphy and Alex Garland reunite for 28 Years Later. (Getty Images)

Director Danny Boyle will reunite with screenwriter Alex Garland and actor Cillian Murphy for zombie threequel 28 Years Later, a film that could potentially kick start a whole new trilogy.

Written by Garland and directed by Boyle, the original movie, 28 Days Later, was released back in 2002 and helped shoot its star Murphy into the big leagues. A surprisingly stellar sequel titled 28 Weeks Later was released five years afterwards in 2007 but Murphy didn’t return and Boyle was only present as a producer.

Instead, Spanish director Juan Carlos Fresnadillo took the helm with Boyle’s Trainspotting star Robert Carlyle in the leading role. All things considered, it was a decent horror sequel but ever since its release, fans have been clamouring for a direct follow-up from the original creatives behind 28 Days Later.

Cut to 2024 and their patience seems to have finally paid off, with a fresh-from-Oppenheimer Murphy once again ready to revisit a zombie-ravaged Britain for another rage-fuelled outing. With that in mind, here’s everything we know about 28 Years Later.

Cillian Murphy in in 28 Days Later
Murphy broke into the mainstream with his role in 28 Days Later. (Fox Searchlight)

28 Years Later will be released in UK cinemas on 20 June, 2025.

Originally, the follow-up was set to be titled 28 Months Later, continuing with the movie’s timeline-set title motif. However, after so much time had passed since we last returned to this world in 2007, Boyle, Garland and Murphy thought that the title 28 Years Later would be more appropriate.

The trio’s new movie reportedly comes with a ‘Part 2’, although Boyle is currently only attached to direct the film’s first instalment. In April 2024, Candyman and The Marvels filmmaker Nia DaCosta was rumoured to be circling the job of directing the second instalment of Boyle’s new trilogy.

Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Jodie Comer and Ralph Fiennes
Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Jodie Comer and Ralph Fiennes will star in 28 Years Later. (Getty/Film Magic)

Jodie Comer, Aaron Taylor-Johnson and Ralph Fiennes are all set to star in Boyle’s 28 Years Later. The cast will also include Skins actor Jack O’Connell and Solo: A Star Wars Story’s Erin Kellyman.

While little is known about who they’ll be playing, sources suggest that O’Connell will have more of a supporting role in the first film and become a lead in DaCosta’s part two. Comer also revealed that the film will be shot in Newcastle, with the star reportedly watching video clips of singer Cheryl to perfect her accent.

Oppenheimer star Murphy will return as Jim, the bike courier-turned-zombie-survivor that he played in Boyle’s first film — but “in a surprising way”, according to Sony Motion Pictures chairman Tim Rothman.

Erin Kellyman attends the Willow premiere
Erin Kellyman has joined the cast of 28 Years Later. (FilmMagic)

Murphy will also serve as executive producer on the new film. Speaking to Variety in February 2024, he admitted that the original 28 Days Later was a personal favourite.

He said: “I never watch my own films, except that one. It’s always on around Halloween and during the pandemic people were constantly sending me clips. And I’ve shown it to my kids. And it’s really stood up, even though it’s something like 23 years old now. So I’m really thrilled that we’ll get the band back together to makes this one.”

UK. A scene from the (C)Twentieth Century Fox movie : 28 Days Later (2002). Plot: Four weeks after a mysterious, incurable virus spreads throughout the UK, a handful of survivors try to find sanctuary. Directed by : Danny Boyle  Ref: LMK110-J10419-040124 Supplied by LMKMEDIA. Editorial Only. Landmark Media is not the copyright owner of these Film or TV stills but provides a service only for recognised Media outlets. pictures@lmkmedia.com
28 Days Later was released in 2002. (Alamy)

There’s no trailer for 28 Years Later. That said, when we do get our first look at the sequel, it’ll be interesting to see how the creative brains behind this troubling story have upped the ante on their flesh-eating world.

The success of Boyle’s original film — complete with its stark and down-to-earth dystopian tone — proved so successful that it gave the whole zombie genre a new lease of life, bringing it back from the dead once more. This resulted in more undead adventures on both the big and small screen, perhaps most notably with AMC bringing us their never-ending mega-hit The Walking Dead.

Robert Carlyle starred in 2007 sequel 28 Weeks Later. (Alamy)

The plot for 28 Years Later hasn’t been released yet, with Boyle, Garland and Murphy keeping the details of their long-awaited zombie reunion secret for the time being.

Despite this lack of information, it’s perhaps safe to assume that their story will once again transport us to a world that has been ravaged by a zombie outbreak and is struggling to regain a sense of normality. As is usually the case with these types of sequels, any solution to flesh-eating problems typically don't last too long, with chaos soon returning with terrifying consequences.

Boyle’s original film brought us to a world where anti-animal abuse protestors accidentally release a new virus onto the world whilst trying to liberate some lab animals. This highly contagious and fast-spreading virus sends anyone it infects into a blind, murderous rage and it doesn’t take long for it to spread across the UK, destroying everything and everyone in its path.

One of the few people oblivious to this destruction is Murphy’s character Jim, who awakes from months spent in a coma to discover a very different world, one divided into two factions — survivors and the infected.

28 Weeks Later caught up with society when it had finally got a hold of the situation and managed to enforce some sort of return to normality. However, soon enough, rabid hoards of the undead were in control once more.

28 Years Later will be released in UK cinemas on 20 June, 2025