Sony has prevailed in a bidding war for rights to 28 Years Later, a new horror thriller based on the 2002 zombie classic 28 Days Later, which will reunite the original’s director Danny Boyle and screenwriter Alex Garland.
Boyle is attached to direct the pic, which is being looked at is the first in a new trilogy, with Garland set to script each installment. Budget for the films will be in the range of $75 million. In addition to Boyle and Garland, producers on 28 Years will include Andrew Macdonald and Peter Rice, the former head of Fox Searchlight Pictures. The latter was a division of former studio Twentieth Century Fox, which backed the original films. On the awards circuit this year as the star of Christopher Nolan’s Oppenheimer, the original film’s star Cillian Murphy is on board as an executive producer and may also reprise his role as zombie apocalypse survivor Jim, though it’s very early days on the casting front.
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Credited with breathing new life into zombie flicks, 28 Days Later watched as Murphy’s bicycle courier woke up from a coma to discover that the world had been overrun with zombies, following the outbreak of a virus. Pic grossed over $82M worldwide and led to production of 2007 sequel 28 Weeks Later, on which Boyle and Garland served solely as EPs.
Boyle is coming off of Pistol, the Sex Pistols miniseries that he exec produced and directed for FX. Last seeing the release of his Jessie Buckley-led horror pic Men, Garland is poised for a return to theaters this year with actioner Civil War, starring Kirsten Dunst, Wagner Moura, Cailee Spaeny, Stephen McKinley Henderson and more, which hits theaters via A24 on April 12.
News of the Sony deal for 28 Years Later was broken this afternoon by The Hollywood Reporter.