|28 Weeks Later|
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Juan Carlos Fresnadillo|
|Music by||John Murphy|
|Edited by||Chris Gill|
|Box office||$64.2 million|
28 Weeks Later is a 2007 horror film directed by Juan Carlos Fresnadillo. A sequel to the 2002 film 28 Days Later, it stars Robert Carlyle, Rose Byrne, Jeremy Renner, Harold Perrineau, Catherine McCormack, 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 their infected mother, and the resulting reintroduction of the Rage Virus to the safe zone.
28 Weeks Later was released on 11 May 2007, in the United Kingdom by 20th Century Fox and in the United States by Fox Atomic. Like its predecessor, the film received positive reviews from critics, with many praising the performances, atmosphere, and screenplay. It grossed $64 million against a $15 million budget.
During the original outbreak of the Rage Virus, Don, his wife Alice and four more survivors hide in a barricaded cottage on the outskirts of London. They hear a terrified boy pounding at their door and let him in. A few minutes later, they discover that the infected have followed the boy. The infected attack and kill most of the survivors, while Don, Alice and the boy are chased upstairs. Don pleads with Alice to leave the boy but she refuses. He abandons them as the infected break into their room by escaping out of the window. After watching his wife being dragged out of sight by the infected, he narrowly escapes on a boat piloted by Jacob, who falls in the water and is overcome by the infected.
After the infected begin to die of starvation, NATO forces take control of Britain. Twenty-eight weeks after the outbreak, an American commanded 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, guarded by the US Army. Sergeant Doyle, a Delta Force sniper and his friend, Chief Flynn, a helicopter pilot, are amongst the troops guarding the district. Tammy and Andy are reunited with their father, who was found by the US Army and has become the district's caretaker. In their new flat, Don fabricates a lie about the circumstances surrounding their mother's death.
That night, Andy dreams about forgetting his mother's face, so Tammy and Andy sneak out of the safe zone and return to their former home, where they collect family photographs and other mementos. To his shock, Andy finds Alice alive and seemingly uninfected in a semi-conscious, delirious state. The three are soon discovered by soldiers and taken back to District One. Alice is taken to a quarantine room, where she is tested and found to be an asymptomatic carrier of the rage virus. Don makes an unauthorized visit to Alice in her isolation cell, begging her to forgive him. She accepts his apology and tells him she loves him; when they kiss, Don is infected, savagely kills her and goes on a rampage.
General Stone orders the building to be quarantined and orders a Code Red alert in District One. Civilians are herded into safe rooms but despite the precautions, Don breaks into a room full of people and starts a domino effect of rapid infection. The crowd, with half its members infected, breaks out of the safe room and into the streets. Scarlet, a US Army medical officer, rescues Tammy and Andy 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, Tammy, Andy and several others through the Greenwich Foot Tunnel. Stone orders District One to be firebombed but large numbers of the infected, including Don, escape the bombardment. Scarlet informs Doyle that the children might hold the key to a cure because of their genetic make up and must be protected.
Flynn arrives by helicopter to pick up Doyle but refuses to take anyone else, as they would be shot down for carrying people who might be infected. Flynn contacts Doyle by radio and tells him to leave the civilians and head to Wembley Stadium. Doyle ignores his instructions and escorts Andy, Tammy and Scarlet 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 while soldiers with flamethrowers draw near. Doyle exits the car and sacrifices himself by push starting the car and is burned alive. Scarlet escapes an Apache gunship and drives Tammy and Andy into the London Underground, where the trio continues on foot. Don ambushes and kills Scarlet, then bites Andy.
Tammy shoots Don before he can kill Andy, who remains symptom-free but an unknown carrier of the Rage virus. They continue to the stadium and are picked up by a reluctant Flynn, who flies them across the English Channel to France, as 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 then seen running through a tunnel that, as they emerge into the open, is revealed to be the exit of the Paris Métro Trocadéro Station with a view across the Seine to the nearby Eiffel Tower.
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 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 (2007), but he would serve as executive producer. He also revealed that the film would revolve around the aftermath of 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.
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.
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 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 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.
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.
On review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, the film has generated a rating of 71% based on 187 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". Derek Elley for Variety called it "a full-bore zombie romp that more than delivers the genre goods".
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.
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. 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 13 April 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." When asked to share that idea, Boyle laughed and said, "No, because they’ll end up in The Walking Dead."
On 14 January 2015, Garland stated:
"We’ve just started talking about it seriously. We’ve got an idea. Danny [Boyle] and [producer] Andrew [Macdonald] and I have been having quite serious conversations about it so it is a possibility. It’s complicated. There’s a whole bunch of reasons why it’s complicated, which are boring so I won’t go into, but there’s a possibility," also adding: "It’s more likely to be 28 Months than 28 Years. 28 months gives you one more place to go," hinting at the possibility of a fourth film as well.
In June 2019, Boyle confirmed that he and Garland had recently met to discuss and begin preparation on a third film.
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