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.
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.
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.
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.
Snapping a photo and immediately sharing it on social media is definitely convenient, but there’s still something so satisfying about having the printed photo—like you’re actually holding the memory in your hands. Kodak’s new STEP cameras now offer the best of both worlds.
As its name implies, the Kodak STEP Instant Print Digital Camera, available for $70 on Amazon, lets you take a picture and print it out on that very same device. Not only do you get to skip the irksome process of uploading photos to your computer and printing them on your bulky, non-portable printer (or worse yet, having to wait for your local pharmacy to print them for you), but you never need to bother with ink cartridges or toner, either. The Kodak STEP comes with special 2-inch-by-3-inch printing paper inlaid with color crystals that bring your image to life. There’s also an adhesive layer on the back, so you can easily stick your photos to laptop covers, scrapbooks, or whatever else could use a little adornment.
For those of you who want to give your photos some added flair, you might like the Kodak STEP Touch, available for $130 from Amazon. It’s similar to the regular Kodak STEP, but the LCD touch screen allows you to edit your photos before you print them; you can also shoot short videos and even share your content straight to social media.
If you want to print photos from your smartphone gallery, there's the Kodak STEP Instant Mobile Photo Printer. This portable $80 printer connects to any iOS or Android device with Bluetooth capabilities and can print whatever photos you send to it.
All three Kodak STEP devices come with some of that magical printer paper, but you can order additional refills, too—a 20-sheet set costs $8 on Amazon.
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He may be a perpetual man-child, but Pee-wee Herman has been around for more than four decades (the character made his first appearance in 1977). His first feature film, Pee-wee’s Big Adventure, debuted in August of 1985. Since then, millions of people have no doubt pondered the question, "Does the Alamo have a basement?" The answer is, yes! Read on for more fascinating facts about Pee-wee and his big adventure.
1. Pee-wee's Big Adventure was originally supposed to be a remake of Pollyanna.
Before the inspiration struck for the quest for Pee-wee’s missing bicycle, the writers planned on more or less remaking the Disney classic Pollyanna. Pee-wee would arrive in a new town in need of some fresh perspective, and by the end of the movie, he would have endeared himself to even the most curmudgeonly of the citizens.
2. The movie changed when Warner Bros. gave Paul Reubens a Schwinn.
Cast and crew members often take bicycles around studio lots to get from point A to point B. Reubens was given a 1940s Schwinn to ride while he was at Warner Bros. working on the movie script; he loved it so much he decided to retool the whole Pollyanna concept.
3. Pee-wee's Big Adventure is a retelling of Bicycle Thieves.
After the idea of Pee-wee as Pollyanna bit the dust, the script ended up turning into a “surrealistic reworking” of Bicycle Thieves, an essential example of Italian Neorealism that was given an Honorary Oscar and regularly shows up on every “must-see” film list. But Pee-wee’s Big Adventure has its own champions ...
4. Pee-wee's Big Adventure made Roger Ebert’s list of “Guilty Pleasures.”
Though he never officially rated the movie, in 1987 Ebert confessed that it made his list of Guilty Pleasure movies:
“The movie is not just a strange little man acting goofy. Pee-wee has created a whole fairytale universe as consistent and fascinating as Alice’s Wonderland or the world of the Hobbits in The Lord of the Rings. Pee-wee’s Big Adventure is one of those movies like The Wizard of Oz, I think, that kids can look at in one state of mind while the grown-ups enjoy it on a completely different level.”
5. Paul Reubens fought to get a 26-year-old Tim Burton to direct Pee-wee's Big Adventure.
Although Paul Reubens had a long list of directors he wanted to work with, the studio chose one not on the list. Rather than go along for the sake of getting the movie made, Reubens put his foot down and refused to proceed. Shortly thereafter, one of Reubens’s friends mentioned a short film called Frankenweenie (the precursor to the feature-length movie that came out in 2012) by Tim Burton. Reubens was friends with Shelley Duvall, who was in the Burton film, so he gave her a call. She agreed that Reubens and Burton would make a perfect match, and the connection was made. “It was the biggest piece of luck early on in my career that I could have had,” Reubens later said.
6. Pee-wee's Big Adventure was Tim Burton and Danny Elfman's first collaboration.
Not only was Pee-wee's Big Adventure Tim Burton’s first big movie, it was also Danny Elfman’s. Elfman wasn’t actually scoring films at the time, at least not on the scale that he is now. But Burton knew him through his work with Oingo Boingo, and Paul Reubens knew him from music he had written for a film called Forbidden Zone. After meeting with Burton to chat about the project, Elfman went home with a tune in his head.
“I did a demo on a four track tape player, playing all the parts, and I made a cassette and sent it to him and never expected to hear from him again," Elfman toldEntertainment Weekly in 2015. "But that piece of music became the main title of Pee-wee’s Big Adventure, and it got me the job. I was really shocked.” It was, of course, the beginning of a longtime collaboration and friendship.
7. Elizabeth Daily, a.k.a. Dottie, is the voice of Tommy Pickles.
In addition to acting in front of the camera, Elizabeth Daily is also a talented voice actress. If you don’t know her as Tommy Pickles in Rugrats or Buttercup in The Powerpuff Girls, you’ve probably heard her in a number of small roles in Wreck-It Ralph, Happy Feet, and many, many more. She was also on season 5 of The Voice.
8. Tim Burton has a cameo in Pee-wee's Big Adventure.
Tim Burton made a cameo in Pee-wee's Big Adventure, which you can watch below:
9. Warner Bros. thought Pee-wee's Big Adventure was weird.
After seeing the finished product, the studio wasn’t so sure it wanted to put much more money behind Pee-wee's Big Adventure. Finding it all a bit bizarre, they decided to roll the film out slowly and on a regional basis. When it proved to be popular with even a limited audience, Warner cranked up the publicity machine. By the time all was said and done, Pee-wee had earned nearly $41 million at the box office.
10. Phil Hartman co-wrote the script for Pee-wee's Big Adventure.
Reubens and SNL legend Phil Hartman originally developed the Pee-wee character when they were in the Groundlings together. HBO picked up Pee-wee for a comedy show in 1981, which is what eventually led to the movie in 1985. Hartman was Reubens’s writing partner throughout all of that, and also for Pee-wee’s Playhouse, where he made occasional appearances as Kap’n Karl.
11. Pee-wee’s bicycle from Pee-wee's Big Adventure was sold on eBay in 2014.
Though Pee-wee estimated his bike’s value at “a hundred million, trillion, billion dollars” in the movie, it didn’t quite fetch that much when it was sold on eBay in 2014. It did, however, sell for $36,600.
12. There were at least 10 bikes used in Pee-wee's Big Adventure.
Missed out on the auction? Never fear—there could still be an authentic Pee-wee bike in your future, since at least 10 bikes were built for use in the film. The Carnegie Science Center in Pittsburgh had one of them on display for a while.
13. Pee-wee's Big Adventure wasn’t the first time Paul Reubens did the “Pee-wee Dance.”
He performed it on The Gong Show in the late 1970s, but the choreography goes back even further than that. The dance, he has said, was actually inspired by a dirty joke his dad used to tell. “The joke was something [like] you put one thumb in your [Reubens points at his backside] and one in your mouth, and then you switch.”
14. The idea for Pee-wee's Playhouse came up at the Pee-wee's Big Adventure premiere.
Executives at CBS approached Reubens’s manager at the movie's premiere and wanted to know if “Pee-wee” was interested in doing a cartoon show. But Reubens had another format in mind, and asked how they would feel about something live-action.
“I was thinking about how important all those kids’ shows were to me when I was a kid, and how much I feel like they affected me, and that just seemed really exciting to me," he said. "I was really excited by the idea that doing a real kids’ show could potentially affect kids in an amazingly positive and great way.” Pee-wee’s Playhouse debuted a year later.
15. Large Marge almost got the axe from Pee-wee's Big Adventure.
It’s one of the most memorable scenes in the entire movie, but it almost didn’t make it to the screen. “I almost cut the best thing before an audience saw it,” Burton said in Burton on Burton. “It was a special effect and those are the first things to go.” IFC lists the scene as #5 on their list of "25 Scariest Moments in Non-Horror Movies."