15 Raging Facts About 28 Weeks Later  

20th Century Fox
20th Century Fox

Five years after Danny Boyle scared the hell out of audiences with 28 Days Later, his post-apocalyptic horror film, Juan Carlos Fresnadillo continued the story with 28 Weeks Later, which saw military forces attempting to secure a small "safe zone" for survivors in London while zombies raged all around them. To celebrate the sequel's tenth anniversary, here are 15 things you might not have known about 28 Weeks Later.

1. THE ORIGINAL STORY FOR THE SEQUEL WAS COMPLETELY DIFFERENT.

Titled 29 Days Later, the original sequel told the story of British marines attempting to rescue the Prime Minister and the Queen of England.

2. THE SEQUEL HAD A NEW DIRECTOR.

Instead of returning to the director’s seat to follow up his 2002 film 28 Days Later, Danny Boyle directed 2007’s Sunshine. He did, however, serve as one of the film's executive producers.

3. DANNY BOYLE DID MAKE A DIRECTING CAMEO.

In addition to his producing role, Boyle did step behind the camera—at least momentarily. He directed second unit footage of the opening scene.

4. BOYLE ALSO MADE HIS MARK ON THE PLOT.


YouTube

He suggested the eye hemorrhage to denote asymptomatic virus carriers.

5. THE NEW DIRECTOR GOT THE JOB BECAUSE OF HIS PREVIOUS MOVIE.

Boyle, sought out director Juan Carlos Fresnadillo to take his place because of Fresnadillo’s previous film, Intacto.

6. ROBERT CARLYLE HAD WORKED WITH DANNY BOYLE BEFORE.

Robert Carlyle was no stranger to working with Boyle; the two had previously worked together on Trainspotting and The Beach. Before accepting the role of Don in 28 Weeks Later, Carlyle had actually turned down the Major Henry West part in 28 Days Later (a role that eventually went to actor Christopher Eccleston).

7. THE HOUSE FROM THE OPENING SCENE MAY LOOK FAMILIAR.

It was the same home outside of London used in the film Children of Men.

8. THE DIRECTOR PUT IN A SMALL NOD TO HIS HOME COUNTRY.

Andy wears a Real Madrid jersey in 28 Weeks Later, which is a nod to Fresnadillo's home country of Spain.

9. ACTRESS CATHERINE MCCORMACK WAS BUSY DURING PRODUCTION.


YouTube

McCormack appeared in the play The 39 Steps in London at the same time she shot the movie, which required limiting her takes to simplify her schedule.

10. PRODUCTION DESIGNERS USED LITERARY AND HISTORICAL INSPIRATION FOR THE SCENES OF POST-APOCALYPTIC LONDON.

The empty and desolate street scenes were modeled after descriptions from Charles Dickens novels and from photos taken during the London Blitz from World War II.

11. THE FILMMAKERS CHEATED A BIT WITH THE POST-APOCALYPTIC SCENES.

Most of the end scenes were shot “day for night” to make it look like all the lights were out in London. If they actually shot at night they would have had to use costly CGI to remove the lights from shots.

12. BUT THE FILMMAKERS STILL HAD A LOT OF CGI TO COMPLETE IN A SHORT PERIOD OF TIME.

The production had to finish 400 CG shots in just two months.

13. THE PRODUCTION REALLY WENT UNDERGROUND.


By mattbuck, CC BY-SA 3.0, Wikimedia Commons

The film shot for two full weeks in London’s Charing Cross Underground station.

14. THE INFECTED CAST HAD A REAL CULTURAL PEDIGREE.

Everyone playing an infected person in the movie was required to have a movement-based artistic background. The final cast included ballet dancers, gymnasts, circus performers, and mimes.

15. THE FILM’S CODA WAS SHOT LAST.

The filmmakers came up with the idea for the coda just two weeks before production wrapped. Fresnadillo traveled to Paris with a limited crew and only HD cameras to shoot it in one afternoon.

This Damn Fine Twin Peaks Box Set Is the Only One Fans Will Ever Need

Amazon
Amazon

Fans of David Lynch’s three-season drama Twin Peaks know there’s quite a lot to excavate. The series, which ran from 1990 to 1991 on ABC and returned for a one-season engagement on Showtime in 2017, has been a perpetual source of ambiguity, red herrings, and the downright inexplicable.

Now there’s a centralized hub of all things Peaks to dwell on. Twin Peaks: From Z to A is a Blu-ray box set containing all episodes of the original series; 1992’s feature film, Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me; 2017's Twin Peaks: The Return; an international version of the 1990 pilot with additional footage; as well as an abundance of new and archival material totaling 20 hours in length.

The box for the 'Twin Peaks: From Z to A' Blu-ray DVD set is pictured
Amazon

Inside the package, which is illustrated with the Douglas firs that are part of the show’s iconography, are mini-figures of Special Agent Dale Cooper and Laura Palmer, played in the show by Kyle MacLachlan and Sheryl Lee, respectively. The box acts as a diorama of sorts and opens to reveal the Red Room, a location where many of the show’s most surreal moments took place. A series of three-by-five index cards provide backdrops of key scenes. The only thing the set doesn’t have is Lynch’s hand-drawn map of the show’s Washington location, but you can find that here.

The set is limited to 25,000 copies. It retails for $139.99 on Amazon and is due for release on December 10.

[h/t Newsweek]

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Unraveling the Many Mysteries of Neil Diamond's 'Sweet Caroline'

Keystone/Getty Images
Keystone/Getty Images

The story of Neil Diamond’s "Sweet Caroline" has it all: love, baseball, Kennedys, Frank Sinatra, Elvis, and the triumph of the human spirit. It’s pop’s answer to the national anthem, and as any karaoke belter or Boston Red Sox fan will tell you, it’s way easier to sing than "The Star-Spangled Banner." As the song celebrates its 50th birthday this year, now’s a good time—so good, so good, so good—to dig into the rich history of a tune people will still be singing in 2069.

"Where it began, I can’t begin to knowing," Diamond sings in the song’s iconic opening lines. Except the "where" part of this story is actually pretty simple: Diamond wrote "Sweet Caroline" in a Memphis hotel room in 1969 on the eve of a recording session at American Sound Studio. By this point in his career, Diamond had established himself as a fairly well-known singer-songwriter with two top-10 hits—"Cherry Cherry" and "Girl, You’ll Be a Woman Soon"—to his name. He’d also written "I’m a Believer," which The Monkees took to #1 in late 1966.

 

The "who," as in the identity of the "Caroline" immortalized in the lyrics, is the much juicier question. In 2007, Diamond revealed that he was inspired to write the song by a photograph of Caroline Kennedy, daughter of John F. Kennedy, that he saw in a magazine in the early ‘60s, when he was a "young, broke songwriter."

"It was a picture of a little girl dressed to the nines in her riding gear, next to her pony," Diamond told the Associated Press. "It was such an innocent, wonderful picture, I immediately felt there was a song in there.” Years later, in that Memphis hotel room, the song was finally born.

Neil Diamond sings the National Anthem prior to Super Bowl XXI between the New York Giants and the Denver Broncos at the Rose Bowl on January 25, 1987 in Pasadena, California
George Rose/Getty Images

Perhaps because it’s a little creepy, Diamond kept that tidbit to himself for years and only broke the news after performing the song at Kennedy’s 50th birthday in 2007. "I’m happy to have gotten it off my chest and to have expressed it to Caroline," Diamond said. "I thought she might be embarrassed, but she seemed to be struck by it and really, really happy."

The plot thickened in 2014, however, as Diamond told the gang at NBC’s TODAY that the song is really about his first wife, Marsha. "I couldn’t get Marsha into the three-syllable name I needed,” Diamond said. "So I had Caroline Kennedy’s name from years ago in one of my books. I tried ‘Sweet Caroline,’ and that worked."

It certainly did. Released in 1969, "Sweet Caroline" rose to #4 on the Billboard Hot 100. In the decade that followed, it was covered by Elvis Presley, soul great Bobby Womack, Roy Orbison, and Frank Sinatra. Diamond rates Ol’ Blue Eyes’ version the best of the bunch.

"He did it his way," Diamond told The Sunday Guardian in 2011. "He didn't cop my record at all. I've heard that song by a lot of people and there are a lot of good versions. But Sinatra's swingin', big-band version tops them all by far."

 

Another key question in the "Sweet Caroline" saga is "why"—why has the song become a staple at Fenway Park in Boston, a city with no discernible connection to Diamond, a native of Brooklyn?

It’s all because of a woman named Amy Tobey, who worked for the Sox via BCN Productions from 1998 to 2004. During those years, Tobey had the wicked awesome job of picking the music at Sox games. She noticed that "Sweet Caroline" was a crowd-pleaser, and like any good baseball fan, she soon developed a superstition. If the Sox were up, and Tobey thought they were going to win the game, she’d play the song somewhere in between the seventh and ninth innings.

"I actually considered it like a good luck charm," Tobey told The Boston Globe in 2005. "Even if they were just one run [ahead], I might still do it. It was just a feel." It became a regular thing in 2002, when Fenway’s new management asked Tobey to play "Sweet Caroline" during the eighth inning of every home game, regardless of the score.

At first, Tobey was worried that mandatory Diamond would lead to bad luck on the actual diamond. But that wasn’t the case, as the Sox won the World Series in 2004, ending the "Curse of the Bambino" and giving Beantown its first title since 1918. In 2010, Diamond made a surprise appearance at Fenway to perform "Sweet Caroline" during the Red Sox's season opener against the New York Yankees. He wore a Sox cap and a sports coat emblazoned with the message "Keep the Dodgers in Brooklyn."

 

A different mood greeted Diamond when he returned to Fenway on April 20, 2013, just five days after bombings at the Boston Marathon killed three people and injured nearly 300 others. "What an honor it is for me to be here today," Diamond told the crowd. "I bring love from the whole country." He then sang along with the ‘69 recording of the song, leading the crowd in the "Ba! Ba! Ba!" and "So good! So good! So good!" ad-libs that have essentially become official lyrics. Diamond also donated all the royalties he received from the song that week, as downloads increased by 597 percent.

The Red Sox aren't the only sports team to have basked in the glory of "Sweet Caroline." The song has become popular with both the Penn State Nittany Lions and Iowa State Cyclones football squads and has even crossed the Atlantic to become part of the music rotation for England's Castleford Tigers crew team and Britain's Oxford United Football Club.

Over the last five decades, millions of people have had their lives touched by "Sweet Caroline" in one way or another. The enduring popularity must be a pleasant surprise for Diamond, who had no idea he’d written a classic back in 1969. "Neil didn't like the song at all," Tommy Cogbill, a bass player at American Sound Studio, said in an interview for the 2011 book Memphis Boys. "I actually remember him not liking it and not wanting it to be a single."

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