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Summary

  • Cillian Murphy’s potential return in 28 Years Later creates excitement, but his role in another horror franchise brings complications.
  • With Danny Boyle and Alex Garland on board, 28 Years Later’s details remain unknown, but the potential for Jim’s return is intriguing.
  • 28 Years Later must carve its own path to avoid being overshadowed by familiar post-apocalyptic themes seen in A Quiet Place Part II.



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The mere prospect of Cillian Murphy’s return in 28 Years Later is enough to make the film more exciting, but his role in another $300 million horror movie franchise creates some complications. Serving as the third installment in the 28 Days Later movie series, 28 Years Later has been in talks for quite some time. However, due to several unforeseeable reasons and the underwhelming reception of 28 Weeks Later, the film kept getting delayed. Fortunately, 28 Days Later created a strong enough impact to keep audiences anticipating a potential continuation of the story.


While most details surrounding 28 Years Later‘s story and cast are under the covers, the film marks Danny Boyle and Alex Garland’s reunion. Cillian Murphy has also hopped on board, but only as the sequel’s producer for now. Whether he will reprise his role as Jim from 28 Days Later is yet to be seen, but it is hard not to be hopeful that he, too, will be a part of the film as one of its leads. However, as fascinating as Cillian Murphy’s potential involvement in 28 Years Later may seem, it might even harm the movie in more ways than one unless some provisions are taken.

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A Quiet Place Part II Already Showed Murphy’s Probable 28 Years Later Arc

Emmett’s story in A Quiet Place II almost comes off as spiritual sequel to Jim’s from 28 Days Later


In A Quiet Place Part II, Cillian Murphy’s character, Emmett is a kind man who goes out of his way to save Marcus, Regan, and Evelyn from the sound-sensitive creatures. For a while, he even lets them stay in his soundproof bunkers. However, after seeing too much in the post-apocalyptic world, he seems to have become calloused. This is why he asks Evelyn to leave with her kids because his supplies cannot sustain all of them. During these moments, Emmett almost comes off as a future version of 28 Days Later‘s Jim.

After surviving over a year in the zombie-infested world of
28 Days Later
, Jim would also likely become more and more desensitized towards others’ suffering and prioritize his own survival like Emmett.


As seen in 28 Days Later‘s final arc, Jim, too, puts everything on the line to save Selena and Hannah. At the same time, a part of him dies when he goes down a warpath against soldiers who were holding Selena and Hannah hostage. After surviving over a year in the zombie-infested world of 28 Days Later, Jim would also likely become more and more desensitized towards others’ suffering and prioritize his own survival like Emmett. Since Jim is a fictional character, his storyline can unfold in multitudes of ways. However, his arc’s most natural and obvious progression would lead him to become someone like Emmett.

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A Quiet Place Part II’s Emmett And 28 Days Later’s Jim Are Similar Characters

Jim and Emmett belong to different post-apocalyptic worlds but have had similar experiences


When it comes to their overarching plot devices for portraying post-apocalyptic worlds, the 28 Days Later franchise could not be any more different from A Quiet Place. However, on the surface, both movie franchises dabble with similar themes of grief, survival, and humanity’s ability to find hope even in the gravest situations. Not to mention, both film franchises also unfold in post-apocalyptic worlds where most human survivors must either duke it out with enraged zombies or sound-sensitive monsters. Owing to this, it is hard not to draw parallels between Cillian Murphy’s characters in both.

Both Jim from 28 Days Later and Emmett from A Quiet Place II are survivors who lost their families when the world collapsed around them. Although they gradually became hardened by their new post-apocalyptic life experiences, they never gave up hope and joined forces with other human survivors to navigate the dangers of their hostile worlds. Because of these similarities between the two Cillian Murphy characters, one can see A Quiet Place Part II‘s Emmett as a projection of 28 Days Later‘s Jim.


Cillian Murphy Movie

Rotten Tomatoes Critics Score

Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score

A Quiet Place Part II

91%

92%

28 Days Later

87%

85%

28 Years Later Must Avoid Repeating A Quiet Place Part II’s Story

28 Years Later must bring something novel to the table

Since A Quiet Place II has already portrayed Jim’s probable 28 Years Later arc, 28 Years Later will have to bring something more novel to the table with Jim’s future timeline. While Jim’s 28 Years Later arc can still share some similarities with Emmett’s from A Quiet Place II, the film cannot risk drawing too many parallels between the two characters. The reason being that 28 Days Later set the bar of expectations incredibly high with its unique portrayal of the oversaturated zombie genre. If Jim’s arc in 28 Years Later seems too familiar and derivative, the film might fail to leave its mark.


Over the years, several post apocalyptic dramas like
I Am Legend
,
Zombieland
, and
Train to Busan
have explored it from myriad perspectives, leaving little room for
28 Years Later
to be as groundbreaking as
28 Days Later
.

When 28 Days Later first premiered in the early aughts, the zombie subgenre was still relatively untapped. However, over the years, several post-apocalyptic movies like I Am Legend, Zombieland, and Train to Busan have explored it from myriad perspectives, leaving little room for 28 Years Later to be as groundbreaking as 28 Days Later. 28 Years Later still has the potential to be a compelling continuation of the franchise and Jim’s overarching story. However, it will have to find new ways to captivate audiences instead of treading the same path as A Quiet Place II or other renowned zombie flicks.

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28 Years Later Needs To Reimagine Jim’s Role

Jim cannot have the same arc as Emmett

One of 28 Years Later‘s biggest potential strengths is its massive time jump. Most post-apocalyptic movies unfold only a few days, months, or years after their central world-ending event. Owing to this, by ensuing nearly three decades after the events of the first movie, 28 Years Later has the opportunity to focus on the macro perspective of societal evolution from its central virus outbreak, which is something not a lot of post-apocalyptic dramas have done. This also allows the movie to portray everything from evolved mutations of the virus to the long-term cultural ramifications of the outbreak.

Although it is unknown whether Cillian Murphy will be involved in
28 Years Later
as its lead, the actor has openly expressed interest in reprising his role as Jim.


Since three decades is enough time for a person to completely change, 28 Years Later can also portray Jim as a significantly different character from the one audiences remember from the first film. Jim could be somewhat of an anti-hero after being scarred by decades of hardships and loss. Or, he could even be a full-fledged antagonist who cares only about his own survival after losing too many loved ones. Regardless of what the Cillian Murphy character becomes in 28 Years Later, he should be nothing like A Quiet Place II‘s Emmett.

28 Years Later Temp Movie Poster

28 Years Later

28 Years Later is the tentative title for the third film in the “28 Days Later” franchise, initially conceived by Danny Boyle and Alex Garland. Originally expected to be titled “28 Months Later,” the film still hasn’t been officially confirmed, but preliminary work on a script has reportedly been underway.

Director
Danny Boyle

Cast
Cillian Murphy

Franchise(s)
28 Days Later



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