Earlier this week Fox Atomic broke the news to us here that Danny Boyle took time out from committing himself fully to his amazing sci-fi movie Sunshine to serve as 2nd Assistant Director on 28 Weeks Later. But is that the truth?
Reaction to the trailer on the internet last week was lukewarm at best, with most people commenting that it doesn't look a patch on the original. If I was Fox Atomic I'd probably do the same and go on a PR offensive to do whatever I could to associate the movie with Danny Boyle in any way possible to try and win over this unreceptive crowd. After all, Paramount went out their way to resell Transformers as a HARD ACTION movie with rumors of "almost-R-rated" action after AICN leaked info that the movie contained scenes of cringe worthy slapstick.
So, it's a shame nobody told Danny what he'd apparently been doing on the 28 Weeks Later movie. He blew Fox Atomic's claims out of the water while on a live interview for BBC Breakfast News Wednesday morning, promoting Sunshine in the UK. When wrapping up the interview, presenter Sian Williams asked him about 28 Weeks Later and how he was involved. He didn't say "Yeah, sure I filmed a few scenes." or "Yeah, I hung out on set to supervise some stuff". What he said was as follows;
"No, I was executive producer", he chuckled, ”which means you don't really do anything at all.” To his credit, he didn't say he didn't like it, but was rather cynical about the motives behind the sequel when describing the plot; "And the virus is re-released, so rebooting the franchise", he said with another wry chuckle.
So according to Danny he is really just a standard executive producer after all. I understand why Fox Atomic might want people to think he’s heavily involved, fact is, if you're going to make a cookie-cutter studio sequel to a modern classic movie by the greatest UK director of the moment, you're going to come up against a big old wall of resistance. But Boyle and Atomic may need to get their story straight.
We contacted Fox Atomic for their take on Boyle’s comments, and here’s what they told us: ”A few months ago, we taped a little intro with Danny and Juan Carlos that we showed a few of the long lead press. In that introduction, Danny says why he hand-picked Juan Carlos to direct the sequel and that he's passing the torch, if you will. That was Danny's way of making sure that this new guy gets his due. He didn't want this film to be all about him. That said, Danny has told us many times that he wants Juan Carlos to shine, not him. And since he has Sunshine coming out right now, which he did direct, he's completely overwhelmed with that film anyway.” So they’re sticking by their stance. They say, “I can tell you that Danny was very involved in the film. I have pictures of Danny on the set, and i know for a fact that he directed parts of the film (specifically an opening scene with Robert Carlyle).”
So why is Danny Boyle contradicting them if he actually worked on the movie? They speculate, “I think he's saying that because he really wants this to be Juan Carlos' film, and because he really has his mind on Sunshine right now. But keep in mind, since DNA did 28 Days, 28 Weeks, and Sunshine, you know that Danny, Andrew McDonald, Alex Garland and the rest of the crew are involved in every single thing anyway!”
The whole thing seems very strange, and at this point it’s a little hard to know who to believe. To clear things up, Fox Atomic has offered to send us those pictures of Danny Boyle working on the set Monday. If we get them, we’ll make sure you all see them, and hopefully we can clear this whole thing up.