|28 Weeks Later|
|Directed by||Juan Carlos Fresnadillo|
|Edited by||Chris Gill|
|Music by||John Murphy|
|Box office||$65.8 million|
28 Weeks Later is a 2007 post-apocalyptic horror film directed by Juan Carlos Fresnadillo, who co-wrote it with Rowan Joffé, Enrique López Lavigne and Jesus Olmo. The standalone sequel to the 2002 film 28 Days Later, it stars Robert Carlyle, Rose Byrne, Jeremy Renner, Harold Perrineau, Catherine McCormack, Mackintosh Muggleton, Imogen Poots, and Idris Elba. It is set after the events of the first film, depicting the efforts of NATO military forces to salvage a safe zone in London, the consequence of two young siblings breaking protocol to find a photograph of their mother, and the resulting reintroduction of the Rage Virus to the safe zone.
28 Weeks Later was theatrically released in the United Kingdom on 11 May 2007, by 20th Century Fox and by Fox Atomic in the United States. The film received positive reviews from critics, who praised the direction and atmosphere. It grossed over $65 million worldwide against a $15 million budget.
During the original outbreak of the Rage Virus, Don, his wife Alice, and four more survivors hide in a cottage on the outskirts of London. They hear a terrified boy pounding at their door and Don lets him in. Minutes later, they discover that the infected have followed the boy. Don pleads with Alice to leave the boy but she refuses so he abandons them and escapes on a boat while Alice, the boy, and the rest of the survivors are killed.
After the infected begin to die of starvation, NATO forces take control of Britain. Twenty-eight weeks after the outbreak, an American force, under the command of Brigadier General Stone, brings in settlers. Among the new arrivals are Don and Alice's children, Tammy and Andy, who were out of the country during the outbreak. They are admitted to District One, a safe zone on the Isle of Dogs, where they are reunited with their father.
That night, Tammy and Andy sneak out of the safe zone and return to their former home, where they collect old family photographs. Andy finds Alice alive in a delirious, semi-conscious state. The three are discovered by American soldiers and taken back to District One, where they are placed in isolation. Alice is taken to a quarantine room, where she is tested by Scarlet, a U.S. Army medical officer, and found to be an asymptomatic carrier of the Rage virus. Don makes an unauthorized visit to Alice, begging her to forgive him. They kiss and Don is infected. He savagely kills her and goes on a rampage.
Scarlet rescues Tammy and Andy, aware that their genetic makeup might hold the key to a cure. Don starts a domino effect of rapid rage infection. Amidst the chaos, American soldiers cannot distinguish between panicked survivors and rampaging infected, and are told to shoot everyone. One of the snipers, Sergeant Doyle, unable to keep complying with the order, escapes with Scarlet, Tammy, and Andy as the U.S. Air Force firebombs District One. Don is among the infected who survive the bombings and escape into abandoned London.
Doyle's pilot friend Flynn arrives by helicopter to pick up Doyle but tells him to leave the civilians and head to Wembley Stadium. Doyle ignores his instructions and escorts the trio to Wembley. They break into an abandoned Volvo V70 to escape nerve gas released to kill the infected but are unable to start the car. As American soldiers with flamethrowers draw near, Doyle exits the car to push-start it and is burned alive. Scarlet and the kids escape into the London Underground but Don kills Scarlet and bites Andy.
Tammy shoots Don dead. Andy remains symptom-free but a carrier of the Rage virus. They are picked up by Flynn, who flies them across the English Channel to France. 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 emerge at the Paris Métro Trocadéro Station with a view across the Seine to the Eiffel Tower, revealing the virus has spread to continental Europe.
- Robert Carlyle as Don: Tammy and Andy's father and Alice's husband.
- Rose Byrne as Scarlet: U.S medical officer
- Jeremy Renner as Doyle: Delta Force sniper
- Harold Perrineau as Flynn: Helicopter pilot
- Catherine McCormack as Alice: Don's wife and Tammy and Andy's mother
- Mackintosh Muggleton as Andy: Don and Alice's son and Tammy's brother
- Imogen Poots as Tammy: Don and Alice's daughter and Andy's sister
- Idris Elba as Stone: U.S. general overseeing District
- Amanda Walker as Sally: member of the house group and Geoff's wife
- Garfield Morgan as Geoff: member of the house group and Sally's husband
- Emily Beecham as Karen: member of the house group
- Philip Bulcock as Senior medical officer
- Amanda Lawrence as Carpark civilian
- Raymond Waring as Sam: Survivor joins Tammy, Andy, Doyle and Scarlet
- Eunice Huthart as Stunt player
Development and writing
The international success of the 2002 horror film 28 Days Later influenced its creators—director Danny Boyle, producer Andrew Macdonald and screenwriter Alex Garland—to make a sequel four years following its release. Macdonald stated, "We were quite taken aback by the phenomenal success of the first film, particularly in America. We saw an opportunity to make a second film that already had a built in audience. We thought it would be a great idea to try and satisfy that audience again."
In March 2005, however, Boyle revealed he would not be directing due to commitments to Sunshine (2007), but said he would stay on as executive producer. He also teased that its plot would revolve around the aftermath of the first film, and would involve the US Army "declaring the war against infection had been won, and that the reconstruction of the country could begin". Boyle later hired Spanish filmmaker Juan Carlos Fresnadillo, believing he would be able to "bring a fresh new perspective" to the film. Another reason he picked Fresnadillo was because he was a "huge fan" of his 2001 film Intacto. Before Fresnadillo took over, he was on a five-year hiatus from filmmaking, working on TV commercials.
Fresnadillo felt the plot involving a family in Rowan Joffé's original script was underdeveloped, so he decided to rewrite it with collaborators Enrique López-Lavigne and Jesús Olmo. Although both Fresnadillo and López-Lavigne were unimpressed with the initial draft, they found its concept of the family "trying to start over after the first outbreak" a redeemable aspect, deciding to retain it in the rewritten version. Rewriting took almost a year, with Garland making additional input on the script.
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. In September 2006, Robert Carlyle, Rose Byrne, Catherine McCormack, Harold Perrineau, Imogen Poots, Idris Elba, Mackintosh Muggleton and Jeremy Renner were announced as the cast for the sequel.
Even though their roles were small or shot from a distance, all the extras who played the infected were required to have a movement-based artistic background, including such occupations as ballet, dance, gymnastics, circus performing, and miming.
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 a major reconstruction, were filmed instead in Wales, with Cardiff's Millennium Stadium used as a replacement.
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 and Blu-ray release of 28 Weeks Later.
Removable chalk-powder graffiti was sprayed in locations around London and Birmingham featuring the web address www.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 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.
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 the UK was "contaminated, keep out!"
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.
This trailer was released on March 23, 2007, and attached to screenings in front of The Hills Have Eyes 2.
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.
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.
On review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, the film has generated a rating of 72% based on 196 reviews and an average rating of 6.6/10. The website's critical consensus states, "While 28 Weeks Later lacks the humanism that made 28 Days Later a classic, it's made up with fantastic atmosphere and punchy direction." On Metacritic, it has a weighted average of 78/100 based on 34 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews".
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 remarked that it 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 soundtrack was composed, written and performed by John Murphy. The score was released exclusively to iTunes on 12 June 2007. On 2 June 2009, a limited edition soundtrack was released by La-La Land Records. But only 1500 copies were made.
In June 2007, Fox Atomic discussed the potential for a third film, dependent upon the financial performance of the film following its home video release. In July of the same year, whilst promoting Sunshine, Boyle said that the story for a third installment had been mapped out. By October 2010, Garland stated that due to differences involving the film rights, the project had been delayed. In January 2011 however, Boyle stated that he believed the project could be realized following the release of his stage adaptation of Frankenstein; stating his intent to further develop the story thereafter. By April 2013, the filmmaker stated that he wasn't sure if the movie would be made. By January 2015, Garland stated that serious discussions were ongoing internally to see if the movie could be made. He acknowledged that although there were many reasons that the project has been complicated to complete, he reiterated that development was progressing. At that time he believed the next film would be titled 28 Months Later. In June 2019, Boyle confirmed this by stating that he and Garland had been working on the project with hopes to begin production on the third installment.
In March 2020 Imogen Poots expressed interest in her role, followed by Cillian Murphy stating the same for his character in May 2021. In June 2023, Boyle and Garland discussed their collaboration on "seriously" and "diligently" seeing the project enter production. Garland stated that the script currently being written was tentatively titled 28 Years Later; Boyle echoed these sentiments stating that he would like to direct the movie, should Garland decide to not additionally serve as director. By July of the same year, Murphy acknowledged that he and Boyle had recently discussed the third film including the fact that nearly twenty-eight years had passed since the release of the original movie. The actor once again expressed interest in reprising his role, as long as Boyle and Garland were involved in their respective creative roles.
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