Filmmaker Alex Garland discussed his involvement with the sequel to 28 Weeks Later. Not a fan of sequels, Garland understands that they are expected in Hollywood. This is what he had to say about the topic.
“I don’t want to sound overly judgmental about it, because it’s very easy to get precious about this stuff,” he continued. “I don’t feel that way about, but the thing of expecting and needing more of something, has its own built-in issues, I think. Because most stories don’t stand up to being repeated.”
Garland takes the stance that rushing out a follow-up film while the original is still in people’s minds and has momentum is another problem entirely.
“Sequels are generally done in a rush. It’s done with a sense of urgency,” he explained. “The first movie, you spend a long time developing to get it over the line. The second thing, you don’t. Your expectations are different and your motivations are different.”
While Garland and director Danny Boyle took the zombie genre in a different direction with 28 Days Later, it became a hit and a favorite among fans, but the sequel, which did very well at the box office, was not their idea and they only served as executive producers. A plan for a third film was kicked around, but nothing happened.
“The rights to ‘28 Days’ were frozen, effectively, because they were shared between Danny [Boyle], [producer] Andrew [McDonald], myself, and Fox,” he said. “After the second one, none of us really wanted to do another. Fox may or may not have, I don’t know.”
Garland did confirm that a third film is in development with McDonald, the producer of the first two films. So, why the change of heart after all this time?
Garland states that an idea came to him on his own instead of being forced.
“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.”
So, Garland’s concept will be used as the cornerstone for the third film which is under the unofficial title 28 Months Later.
“Yeah. It’s pretty simple,” he said of the idea. “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.’”
Garland was coy about releasing any important details, but being tight lipped about the upcoming film will just help chum the waters to excite fans. As of now, the third film has no timetable or director.
Sources: indiewire, wikipedia, IMDb