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What Cillian Murphy Has Been Up To Since 28 Days Later

Since the 1970s, zombie movies have continued to scare horror fans by pushing the envelope on gore effects and entertaining the idea that the apocalypse and humanity combined together is a deadly concoction. Danny Boyle's 28 Days Later certainly wasn't the first successful zombie flick (hello Night of the Living Dead), but it was definitely a trailblazer for defining what a successful zombie movie looked like in the 2000s. With a budget of $8 million, it grossed a total of $82.7 million worldwide.

28 Days Later would come to be regarded as one of the best zombie movies of all time, and like any movie, it starts with the cast. While there were other actors considered for the role of Jim, it seems impossible now that anyone but Cillian Murphy could have played him. Today, Murphy is well-known for his role in 28 Days Later, as well as a slew of other great roles that have set him up for consistent work in Hollywood. Need a refresher on what he's been up to since the 2002 zombie flick? Let's find out.

The trilogy that made Cillian Murphy a household name

Even though Cillian Murphy starred and succeeded in 28 Days Later, it didn't really shoot him into that "mainstream success" that actors often crave. What 28 Days Later did do for him was open up unique doors, with unique roles. His performance in 2002 allowed him to score the role of Dr. Jonathan Crane/Scarecrow in Christopher Nolan's Dark Knight trilogy, where he appears in all three films: Batman Begins, The Dark Knight, and The Dark Knight Rises. He was one of only a few cast members to show up in all three movies, which is pretty impressive, and important, considering that he was fairly new to Hollywood.

Murphy was also auditioned for the role of Bruce Wayne himself. In an interview with Seth Meyers, he mentioned that he tried out for the main role in Nolan's film and even got to try on the Batman suit Val Kilmer used in Batman Forever. Even though he got to try on the iconic suit, he mentioned, "I never for a moment thought I was [Batman] material. It was obvious that Christian Bale was gonna be Batman." Ultimately, he landed exactly where he was supposed to with the role of Dr. Crane.

Inception gave Cillian Murphy a chance to co-star next to a major A-lister

In 2010, Christopher Nolan cast Cillian Murphy in his highly rated and highly anticipated blockbuster Inception. Murphy plays the role of Robert Fischer, a wealthy young man who is kidnapped and must face his darkest fears in this new world he's stumbled upon. Fischer is also learning to step out of his father Maurice's (Pete Postlethwaite) shadow, now that Maurice is on his deathbed. Fischer might not be the strongest character in the movie, but Murphy was able to make the role believable and memorable.

Inception went on to gross over $800 million worldwide because of its unique storyline, stellar cast, and entertaining cinematography. Murphy co-stars alongside some of the biggest names in Hollywood, including Leonardo DiCaprio (The Wolf of Wall Street), Joseph Gordon-Levitt (Looper), Elliot Page (Juno), and his fellow Dark Knight Rises co-stars Tom Hardy (Mad Max: Fury Road) and everyone's favorite butler, Michael Caine (The Prestige).

Cillian Murphy's biggest TV role so far

Fast-forward to 2013, and Cillian Murphy landed one of his most well-known roles thus far: Thomas Shelby in the TV series Peaky Blinders. Peaky Blinders centers on the Shelby family, a notorious gang living in England in the 1920s. The Shelbys are ruthless, and Thomas "Tommy" Shelby is the mastermind of it all. Shelby has zero qualms about fighting for what he thinks is his right and will step on anyone in his way to get it.

For some reason, Peaky Blinders was once considered an underrated show, but now that it's on its fifth season, people are realizing just how good the series — and Murphy — is. An IMDb review by leonghiacnn describes Murphy's acting as a masterpiece. The user goes on to say that, "After the show, you cannot stop thinking about Thomas Shelby. I've never seen any movie characters that stay in your head like that." It's safe to say Peaky Blinders might be the next show to binge-watch on Netflix.

Other notable roles Cillian Murphy is known for

In the same year as Batman Begins, Cillian Murphy played opposite The Notebook's Rachel McAdams in the 2005 thriller Red Eye. From 2014 to 2019, he went on to co-star alongside other A-listers such as Chris Hemsworth in In The Heart of the Sea, Johnny Depp in Transcendence, Jamie Dornan in Anthropoid, and Helen Mirren in Anna.

By now, it's clear that there isn't a shortage of memorable roles for Murphy, and as for his future? He'll star as Emmett in John Krasinski's A Quiet Place Part II, which will be released in May 2021. Krasinksi stated that, "Emmett is one of my favorite characters. The fascinating part is that he's at a point where he doesn't feel the need to be a part of any community." On the same note, Murphy described his character as having "retreated into his own grief completely." It's unknown if Emmett will be a hero or foe, but what we do know is that A Quiet Place Part II will focus on the Abbott family and where they ended up after 2018's A Quiet Place.