Print & Features Editor Jess Parker discusses Jack O’Connell’s involvement in Danny Boyle’s upcoming ’28 Years Later’ trilogy

Print & Features Editor and MA Film and Television: Research and Production student.

British actor Jack O’Connell has been pegged to join director Danny Boyle’s upcoming 28 Years Later film, a sequel to 2002’s 28 Days Later. According to Deadline, 28 Years Later is anticipated to form the first entry in a prospective trilogy from the English director. Boyle is known for projects such as Trainspotting, Slumdog Millionaire, and 127 Hours. Candyman director Nia DaCosta is also tapped to direct the trilogy’s second entry, with production planning to shoot the films back to back. The upcoming horror thriller has a budged in the range of $75 million, and Sony Pictures are anticipated to release the film to theatres worldwide.

Details of the upcoming film’s plot are currently tightly under wraps. Sources have said that O’Connell’s character will play a supporting role in the first film, and will become more of a lead role in the second film of the trilogy. Unlike in Boyle’s 28 Days Later, the director has opted for a more star-studded cast than his previous habit for casting lesser-known actors in the franchise’s previous instalments. In addition to O’Connell, 28 Years Later is expected to star actors Jodie Comer, Aaron Taylor-Johnson and Ralph Fiennes.

The original film, 28 Days Later, followed Cillian Murphy’s lead, a bicycle courier who wakes from a coma and is thrust into a world of zombie mayhem, causes by a vicious viral outbreak. The film grossed over $82 million at the worldwide box office, and has a Rotten Tomatoes rating of 87%. The subsequent sequel, 2007’s 28 Weeks Later, saw further success, with an admirable Rotten Tomatoes score of 72%. Cillian Murphy is returning to 28 Years Later as an executive producer.

Danny Boyle will be directing the trilogy’s first movie from a script written by Alex Garland, writer of 28 Days Later . Garland’s recent feature film Civil War was a box office hit, having both written and directed the dystopian war flick. The film landed as New York-based indie production house A24’s best-ever box office opening, bringing in in a cool $25.7 million across its opening weekend. The feature has surged past the production house’s previous record holder, with Ari Aster’s 2018 debut Hereditary having brought in $13.5 million across its opening weekend.

Danny Boyle’s 28 Years Later trilogy is truly gaining momentum, boasting a star-studded cast and featuring many returning faces to helm its production. With Boyle and Garland both producing alongside Andrew Macdonald and Peter Rice, the former head of Fox Searchlight Pictures, the film is rumoured to begin production this month, May 2024.

28 Days Later is available to purchase on Blu-ray, DVD and digital streaming platforms. 28 Days Later is currently available to streaming via rental or purchase on Prime Video.

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