Cillian Murphy has been confirmed as returning to the franchise that launched his career, in 2025’s 28 Years Later.

News of the new film was first announced earlier this year, with confirmation that director Danny Boyle and writer Alex Garland, who helmed the 2002 original 28 Days Later, were both returning to the franchise.

Earlier this month, the film was given the official release date of June 20, 2025. It had already been confirmed to star Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Jodie Comer, Ralph Fiennes and Jack O’Connell.

And now Murphy, who had his breakout role in 28 Days Later, has been officially added to the cast. He has already been announced for an executive producer role.

28 Days Later
Cillian Murphy in ’28 Days Later’. CREDIT: Alamy

Sony Motion Pictures Group chairman Tom Rothman gave the news to Deadline, who said that Murphy would return “in a surprising way and in a way that grows, let me put it that way.”

He continued by saying: “This is Danny at his best, combined with a very commercial genre, like we had with Edgar Wright and Baby Driver. Sometimes when you put a real signature director into a commercial arena, it elevates it.”

2002’s 28 Days Later saw Murphy play the bicycle courier Jim, who awakens from a coma to discover that the accidental release of a highly contagious, aggression-inducing virus has caused the breakdown of society.

28 Years Later is slated to be the first entry in a new trilogy, with Garland set to write and produce all three. Boyle is only expected to return for the first instalment, with Candyman and The Marvels director Nia DaCosta reportedly in talks for the second. Each film is being made with a budget in the region of $75million (£59million).

Speaking to NME in 2022 to celebrate the 20th anniversary of 28 Days Later, Murphy and Boyle said that they had often spoken about a follow-up to their hit zombie flick. While Murphy said he’s now too old for it, Boyle revealed that Garland had written a script titled 28 Months Later a few years ago but nothing came of it.

Boyle said at the time: “I’d be very tempted [to direct it]. It feels like a very good time actually. It’s funny, I hadn’t thought about it until you just said it, and I remembered ‘Bang, this script!’ which is again set in England, very much about England. Anyway, we’ll see… who knows?”

The original film secured a sequel in 2007, 28 Weeks Later, though Boyle and Garland only executive-produced this project.

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