28 Years Later Could Make Another Zombie Franchise’s Abandoned Movie Trilogy Look Even Worse

Summary

  • Danny Boyle and Alex Garland’s 28 Years Later could reinvigorate the franchise and prove the blockbuster potential of a zombie movie trilogy.
  • The success of the 28 Years Later trilogy could demonstrate that The Walking Dead‘s over-reliance on TV series could be its undoing.
  • The Walking Dead‘s planned Rick Grimes movie trilogy faced an uphill battle, ultimately making The Ones Who Live TV series a better way forward.


Danny Boyle and Alex Garland’s highly anticipated 28 Years Later could make another zombie franchise’s abandoned movie trilogy plan look even worse. Green-lit in mid-January 2024, Boyle and Garland’s 28 Years Later sequel marks the first entry in a planned post-apocalyptic horror film trilogy. The franchise began in 2002 with 28 Days Later — a film that redefined the genre. Inspired by George A. Romero’s Night of the Living Dead films, 28 Days Later stars Cillian Murphy as a bicycle courier who awakens from a coma amid the explosion of an epidemic. Nicknamed the “rage virus,” it induces aggression in patients, turning them into homicidal zombies.

While 28 Days Later depicts the initial collapse of society, the then-standalone sequel, 28 Weeks Later, chronicles the NATO military’s efforts to create a safe zone, only to have those quarantine efforts thwarted by siblings who break protocol and reintroduce the “rage virus” to said safe zone. Penned by Rowan Joffé, Enrique López Lavigne, Jesus Olmo, and Juan Carlos Fresnadillo, who also served as director, 28 Weeks Later isn’t considered a zombie classic in the same way as its predecessor. Even so, 28 Years Later‘s new trilogy has the potential to reinvigorate the franchise, all while proving that another series’ now-canceled zombie movie trilogy was a great idea.

The Walking Dead: The Ones Who Live is scheduled to premiere on February 25, 2024.


The 28 Years Later Trilogy Can Prove The Walking Dead’s Movie Trilogy Was A Good Idea

Michonne running from a CRM gas attack in The Walking Dead The Ones Who Live

Based on the comic book series of the same name, The Walking Dead television show aired from 2010 to 2022. While the series’ success waned the longer it ran, there’s no denying the pop-cultural impact The Walking Dead had for nearly a decade. In addition to reinvigorating the zombie genre, AMC’s The Walking Dead launched its own multi-show franchise. Currently, two spinoffs, Daryl Dixon and Dead City, are in full swing, while a sixth series is set to air in 2024. Titled The Walking Dead: The Ones Who Live, the latest entry in the undying undead franchise centers on Danai Gurira’s Michonne and Andrew Lincoln’s Rick Grimes.

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Like Murphy’s bicycle courier, Rick awakens from a coma in the immediate aftermath of The Walking Dead‘s outbreak. Soon enough, the series’ long-time protagonist becomes the leader of a group of survivors — his family among them, for a time — though Andrew Lincoln left The Walking Dead in season 9. Initially, Rick and Michonne were set to return for a movie trilogy, but that idea was scrapped in favor of yet-another TV series. The potential success of the 28 Years Later trilogy, which will bring zombies back to the big screen, could demonstrate that The Walking Dead‘s over-reliance on series could be its undoing.

The Walking Dead’s Planned Rick Grimes Movie Trilogy Always Faced An Uphill Battle

Danai Gurira as Michonne in The Walking Dead: The Ones Who Live

The Ones Who Live was set up by The Walking Dead‘s series finale ending, which briefly features a still-alive Rick and Michonne. The six-episode miniseries is a gamble, but it’s certainly not as big of a risk as a trilogy of films centered on Rick Grimes; even The Walking Dead realized it was too late. With its many spinoffs, the franchise has proven that it can tell compelling stories without its former protagonist. The Ones Who Live might be the best way forward for an idea that’s always faced an uphill battle — and 28 Years Later might just deliver the zombie movie trilogy genre fans need.

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