by: Jay Carlson
During an interview last month in support of his freshman feature, Ex Machina I asked Alex Garland about the status of a new film in the 28 Days Later series. Garland wrote the original film, directed by Danny Boyle and served as a producer on its sequel 28 Weeks Later. When I broached the possibility of a new film in the series, he had the following to say “There is. We’re talking about it at the moment. We spent a long… The thing about 28 Days (Later), the first one, was that it had kind of an aggression to it and it had sort of a subversive element to it. And the sequel ideas that kept getting brought up, floated or discussed amongst us were kind of tame and they were franchise kind of ideas. Then we sort of came up with something with a bit more bite. And so we’re going to give it a crack. But it’s very early days. Very early days.”
Yesterday, IndieWire reported some new comments from Garland, including the third film not even being something that was being pursued, “The rights to ‘28 Days’ were frozen, effectively, because they were shared between Danny [Boyle], [producer] Andrew [McDonald], myself, and Fox. After the second one, none of us really wanted to do another. Fox may or may not have, I don’t know.”
Garland says this all changed a couple years ago, though. “About two years ago, Danny started collaborating on the potential to make ‘Trainspotting 2,’ another sequel,” he explained. “In that conversation, an idea for ’28 Months’ arrived. I had a sort of weird idea that popped into my head. Partly because of a trip I’d taken. I had this thought, and I suggested it to Andrew and Danny, but I also said I don’t want to work on it. I don’t really want to play a role, and Andrew said, ‘Leave it to me.’ So he’s gone off and is working on it.”
Garland doesn’t divulge much of the idea to The Playlist but teases, “Yeah. It’s pretty simple. Don’t you think those are, in a way, better? Because there is no momentum now, and you’ve had an organic, real spark about where I can take this. And it just popped into your head, kind of thing. Rather than, ‘Okay, I’m going to make a sequel.’”
I’m genuinely curious where they’d take a new film in the series, but I’m super excited to see where they decide to take the story. I thought the sequel may have even been a stronger film than the original. I think that both films have had their flaws, so there’s still room to really knock a sequel out of the park.