28 Weeks Later
|28 Weeks Later|
UK promotional film poster
|Directed by||Juan Carlos Fresnadillo|
|Music by||John Murphy|
|Distributed by||20th Century Fox|
|Release date(s)||11 May 2007|
|Running time||100 minutes|
28 Weeks Later is a 2007 British/Spanish film, structured as a sequel to the 2002 post-apocalyptic horror film 28 Days Later. 28 Weeks Later was co-written and directed by Juan Carlos Fresnadillo, with 28 Days Later director Danny Boyle acting as producer, and was released in the United Kingdom and United States on 11 May 2007. The on-location filming took place in London and 3 Mills Studios, although scenes intended to be shot at Wembley Stadium, then undergoing final stages of construction, were filmed instead in Wales, with Cardiff's Millennium Stadium used as a replacement.
During the original outbreak of the Rage Virus, Don, his wife Alice and four other survivors are hiding in a barricaded cottage on the outskirts of London. They hear a terrified boy pounding at their door, whom they let in. A few minutes later they find that the infected have followed the boy to them. The infected attack and kill most of the survivors, and Don, Alice and the boy are chased upstairs. Don is cut off from them by the infected and, afraid for his life, he jumps out of a window and leaves them. Don finds a motorboat nearby and narrowly escapes.
After five weeks, all the infected have died of starvation. After eleven weeks, NATO forces headed by the US take control of Great Britain. After eighteen weeks the island is declared relatively safe, although still under quarantine. Twenty-eight weeks after the outbreak, an American-led force, under the command of Brigadier General Stone, bring in settlers to re-populate the area. Among the new arrivals are Tammy and Andy, Don and Alice's children, who were in Spain on a school trip during the initial outbreak. They are subsequently admitted to District One, a safe zone guarded by the US Army, on the Isle of Dogs. As they are examined by Major Scarlet Levy, the district's chief medical officer, she notes Andy's differently coloured eyes, a trait inherited from his mother. Sergeant Doyle, a Delta sniper and his friend, helicopter pilot Chief Flynn, are amongst the military presence charged with guarding the district. The children are reunited with their father, who had survived the original infection and was found by the US army, and who has become the district's senior maintenance engineer. In their new flat, Don explains what happened to him and their mother and that after he escaped, he arrived in a military camp and waited with the soldiers through the weeks. That night, Andy has a dream about his mother ripping her face off. He wakes up and tells Tammy he is afraid that he might forget his mother's face, and that he wants a picture of her so he won't forget.
The next day, Tammy and Andy, mournful over the loss of their mother, leave the safe zone and proceed to the depopulated London wasteland area to their former house on a scooter, hoping to retrieve and take their old belongings with them. To their shock, they find their mother in a semi-conscious state. Doyle had seen the two children leave the safe zone; they and their mother are subsequently picked up by soldiers and returned to the district. Tammy and Andy are taken back to their living quarters while Alice is taken to a biohazard room where she is tested and found to be an asymptomatic carrier of the Rage Virus. While she doesn't show the uncontrollable rage, she is extremely infectious and the virus causes her eyes to discolour red. Don sneaks through the security and makes an unauthorised visit to Alice in her isolation cell and asks forgiveness for abandoning her at the cottage. When they kiss, however, the Rage Virus in her saliva immediately infects Don, who savagely kills her by punching her and pushing his fingers into her eyes, before going on a rampage, killing and infecting several soldiers in the building.
General Stone orders the building to be quarantined and District One to be put into Code Red Lock-down, and civilians are herded into safe rooms. Despite the precautions, Don breaks into a room containing a large crowd and begins killing and infecting them, quickly causing a domino effect of attackers. Scarlet rescues Tammy and Andy from containment as the soldiers in District One are ordered to shoot indiscriminately. Doyle, unable to bring himself to comply with the order, abandons his post and escapes with Scarlet, the children and others through the Greenwich foot tunnel. General Stone then orders that District One be firebombed, but large numbers of the infected, including Don, escape the bombardment. Scarlet informs Doyle that the children may hold the key to a cure and must be protected at all costs. Flynn arrives by helicopter to pick up Doyle, but refuses to take anyone else as they would be shot down if carrying possibly infected people.
Flynn contacts Doyle by radio and tells him to head to Wembley Stadium, but to leave the civilians. Doyle ignores his instructions and begins escorting the civilians to Wembley, breaking into an abandoned car to escape nerve gas released to kill the infected. He is burned alive by soldiers as he tries to push start the car. Scarlet drives the car away, but an Apache gunship tries to destroy the car and children; she manages to escape the chopper with the kids. She drives them into the London Underground where, as the trio continue on foot, she is ambushed and killed by Don who then attacks and bites Andy. Tammy shoots Don before he can kill Andy who remains symptom-free, but with his eyes discoloured red like those of his mother, signifying that he is now an unknowing carrier of the Rage virus. The children continue to the Stadium and are picked up by a reluctant Flynn, who flies them across the English Channel to France, as previously instructed by Doyle.
Twenty-eight days later, a French-accented voice requesting help is heard from the radio in Flynn's abandoned helicopter. A group of the infected are seen running through a tunnel which, as they emerge into the open, is revealed to be the exit of the Paris Métro Trocadéro station with a view of the nearby Eiffel Tower.
In 2003, plans for the film were conceived after the international success of 28 Days Later. Danny Boyle, Andrew Macdonald and Alex Garland stated that they felt the time was right to make a sequel.
In March 2005, Boyle said in an interview that he would not direct the sequel due to commitments to Sunshine, but he would serve as executive producer. He also revealed that the film would revolve around a great deal of the aftermath from the first movie. It was also revealed that the film would include the "US Army declaring the war against infection had been won, and that the reconstruction of the country could begin." Boyle hired Juan Carlos Fresnadillo to helm the project after seeing Fresnadillo's 2001 film Intacto. Fresnadillo stated that he was "thrilled working on his first English language film alongside such an exciting international cast and talented production team."
Both Fresnadillo and Lopez-Lavigne were involved in writing the script, which revolved around a family and what happened to them in the aftermath of the original film, which the producers "liked a lot".
Boyle said in March 2005 that the sequel would feature a new cast, since previous cast members Cillian Murphy, Megan Burns, and Naomie Harris were occupied with their own projects. On 23 August 2006, Jeremy Renner was announced to portray Doyle, one of the principal characters for 28 Weeks Later. On 31 August 2006, Harold Perrineau was announced to portray a US Special Forces pilot in the film.
On 13 April 2007, 28 days before the release of the film in UK cinemas, a huge biohazard warning sign was projected against the White Cliffs of Dover. The sign contained the international biological hazard symbol, along with the admonition that Britain was "contaminated, keep out!".
In July 2006, Fox Atomic Comics and publisher HarperCollins announced the publication, in early 2007, of 28 Days Later: The Aftermath, a graphic novel bridging the gap between 28 Days Later and 28 Weeks Later. Motion comics of two segments of the graphic novel were added to the DVD & Blu-ray release of 28 Weeks Later.
Removable chalk-powder graffiti was sprayed in locations around London and Birmingham featuring the web address 'ragevirus.com'. However, the web address was found to be unregistered and was quickly snapped up. The advertising agency who made the mistake agreed to purchase the rights to the domain name for an undisclosed sum.
In April 2007, the horror/science-fiction film website Bloody Disgusting promoted 28 Weeks Later by giving readers a chance to win a prop from the film. The props were included in a "District 1 Welcome Pack", which featured an actual ID card and an edition of the London Evening Standard newspaper with a headline proclaiming the evacuation. The giveaway was only open to residents of North America and entries closed on 9 May 2007.
In May 2007, 20th Century Fox posted a free 28 Weeks Later-themed flash game on their international website, foxinternational.com. In the game, the player can play one of the infected in three parts of the city.
28 Weeks Later gained generally positive reviews. The film has generated a "fresh" rating of 71% on Rotten Tomatoes based on 187 reviews (132 fresh, 55 rotten). View London called the film an "exciting, action-packed and superbly directed thriller that more than lives up to the original film". The New York Times's A. O. Scott wrote that "28 Weeks Later is brutal and almost exhaustingly terrifying, as any respectable zombie movie should be. It is also bracingly smart, both in its ideas and in its techniques."
The film opened in 2,000 cinemas across the United States. It made $9.8 million in its opening weekend, coming in second place at the box office, behind Spider-Man 3. The film has grossed $28.6 million in the US and $35.6 million in other countries, bringing the worldwide total to $64.2 million.
1.3 million DVD units have been sold in the United States, gathering a revenue of $24.3 million, as of July 2010. The film has been released as its own DVD and as a double feature with 28 Days Later.
28 Weeks Later: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack was composed, written and performed by John Murphy. The score was released exclusively to iTunes on 12 June 2007. The theme of the first film, "In the House - In a Heartbeat", is a reoccurring motif throughout the second film, varying in tone and speed. On 2 June 2009, a limited edition soundtrack was released by La-La Land Records. Only 1500 copies were made.
Fox Atomic stated in June 2007 that they would consider producing a third film, if DVD sales of the film did well. In July 2007, while promoting Sunshine, Boyle said he had a possible story for the next film. "There is an idea for the next one, something which would move the story on. I've got to think about it, whether it's right or not." In October 2010, when Alex Garland was asked what was happening with 28 Months Later, he declared: "I'll answer that completely honestly. When we made 28 Days Later, the rights were frozen between a group of people who are no longer talking to each other. And so, the film is never going to happen unless those people start talking to each other again. There is no script as far as I'm aware." In January 2011, Danny Boyle said, "There is a good idea for it, and once I've got [my stage production of] Frankenstein open, I'll begin to think about it a bit more. On April 13, 2013 Boyle stated: "[I]t’s 40/60 whether [a sequel] happens or not. But we did have an idea of where to set it and what it might be about." Asked to share that idea, Boyle laughed and said "No, because they’ll end up in The Walking Dead."