Cillian Murphy Has a Zombie Movie to Thank For His Entire Career

Cillian Murphy Has a Zombie Movie to Thank For His Entire Career
Image credit: Legion-Media

While shooting 28 Days Later, the actor wasn't familiar with the genre at all, so he didn't think of it as a zombie horror at the time.


  • 28 Days Later had a massive impact on the zombie horror genre, offering fresh takes on tired concepts
  • But the movie's star, Cillian Murphy, never thought of it as a zombie horror movie because he wasn't familiar with the genre at the time
  • The actor will soon return to the franchise as an executive producer for 28 Years Later, although fans are hoping he will star in the film as well

Danny Boyle 's 2002 zombie horror 28 Days Later was a truly groundbreaking entry in the genre due to its then-unique approach to depicting the infected.

Instead of the more traditional shuffling undead suddenly rising from the grave, the film revolved around an outbreak of a so-called rage virus that turned its victims into fast, flesh-hungry monsters in a matter of seconds.

This allowed many scenes that were traditional for the genre to be shown from a completely new angle, increasing the intensity and raising the stakes for the characters, as a single mistake would instantly prove fatal.

Cillian Murphy Thought The Movie Was Something Different

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Such an approach was apparently so unique that even the film's star, Cillian Murphy, whose performance as Jim turned out to be a breakout role for the actor, didn't even realize he was starring in a zombie movie.

Speaking with the SAG-AFTRA Foundation, the actor confessed that he wasn't familiar with zombie films at the time, including George A. Romero's Night of the Living Dead franchise, which had long been the gold standard for the genre.

Considering that the filming of the movie took place during the SARS outbreak of 2002-2004, and that the movie also featured an infectious disease, it didn't even occur to him that the film actually belonged to the zombie genre.

However, the actor is glad he didn't see the genre classics before starring in 28 Days Later because he didn’t know how revered those films were.

Will Cillian Murphy Star In The Upcoming 28 Years Later

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While the actor didn't reprise his role in 2007's sequel 28 Weeks Later, fans of the franchise are in for a treat, as it was recently confirmed that the long-awaited third film, 28 Years Later, has officially been greenlit.

It would also kick off an all-new trilogy, with Danny Boyle directing the first installment and Alex Garland, who was responsible for the story of the original film, writing the scripts for all three.

Although it is currently known that Murphy will only be an executive producer for the upcoming film, fans are still hoping that he will actually star in it, which could be a nice gift for fans who have been waiting for the movie for almost two decades.

Sources: SAG-AFTRA Foundation via YouTube, The Hollywood Reporter