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‘28 Years Later’ Trilogy Casts Franchise Alum Cillian Murphy

Oppenheimer star Cillian Murphy is returning for 28 Years Later, coming back to the role that gave him his Hollywood breakout.

28 Days Later / Image Courtesy of Searchlight Pictures

The Impact Of The Virus

Announced as a trilogy, and a sequel to the prior films in the franchise, 28 Days Later and 28 Months Later, 28 Years Later will be directed and written by the brains and brawn behind the franchise, Danny Boyle and Alex Garland.

The trilogy will directly follow up the apocalypse events caused by the “Rage” virus  — a bloodborne bacteria with origins tracing back to lab chimps. It is unknown when the trilogy will occur as the first two films took place a month and ~2 years after the fall of traditional society.

When 28 Days Later was first released in 2002, it was met with financial and critical positivity grossing $85.7 million worldwide. Impressive when considering its budget of £5 million and its inflation-adjusted box office gross of $148.79 million. This wasn’t the only success it had, after all, it did kickstart the career of Barbenheimer darling Cillian Murphy. 

28 Days Later / Image Courtesy of Searchlight Pictures

The film famously introduced Christopher Nolan to the actor who he then cast in the 2005 film Batman Begins, and the rest is history. Now the Oscar-winning actor is ready to come back to the franchise, according to a new report. 

Is Cilli In It Or Not?

Industry insider Jeff Sneider of TheInSneider.com, reports that Cillian Murphy will be returning for not one, but two films in the new trilogy. But the catch is he will not return for the first film of the trilogy. Instead, he will reportedly cameo in the second film which is currently untitled and directed by Nia DaCosta, who is coming fresh off 2021’s Candyman and 2023’s The Marvels.

Furthermore, he will reportedly have a larger role in the closing film of the trilogy. Using these new pieces of information, we can assume that the trilogy will not follow the consecutive titling format displayed throughout the first three films in the franchise and could be a three-parter instead. 

28 Days Later / Image Courtesy of Searchlight Pictures

Now, of course, this information isn’t set in stone as Murphy himself has commented on his openness in returning to the franchise stating simply “I’m available.” Many fans have taken this as soft confirmation of his involvement in the new trilogy as he is already working on the film as an executive producer. 

Who Else?

This news comes after Aaron Taylor Johnson, Jodie Comer and Ralph Fiennes were cast in the upcoming film and trilogy scribe Alex Garland was attached as co-director to the A24 film Warfare in a semi-retirement

28 Days Later / Image Courtesy of Searchlight Pictures

28 Years Later stars Aaron Taylor Johnson, Jodie Comer, and Ralph Fiennes. It will be directed by Danny Boyle, penned by Alex Garland and executive produced by Cillian Murphy. The film begins shooting in London, May 1st, 2024 and is in production at Sony Pictures. 

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Zanda is the Editor-in-Chief of Feature First and oversees the publishing of the outlet and content of the social media pages. He is based in Queensland, Australia and may or may not have a life like cardboard cut-out of Ryan Gosling in his room. Zanda has been actively turning Feature First into a reliable and high quality entertainment outlet since 2023.