Trainspotting 2: Long-mooted sequel to begin shooting 20 years after landmark film

Danny Boyle says film, based on the novel Porno, will reunite original cast

Adam Sherwin
Monday 07 September 2015 21:49 BST
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Sick Boy now runs a gastropub, Renton has kicked the habit and Begbie is still a violent psychopath. The long-mooted sequel to Trainspotting will finally go into production, 20 years after the landmark film about a group of heroin addicts in Edinburgh.

Danny Boyle has confirmed that Trainspotting 2, first announced in 2013, will begin shooting soon. The new film will reunite Ewan McGregor, Ewen Bremner, Jonny Lee Miller and Robert Carlyle.

“All the four main actors want to come back and do it,” Boyle, director of the 1996 film, told Deadline. “Now it is only a matter of getting all their schedules together, which is complicated by two of them doing American TV series,” added Boyle, speaking after the premiere of his new Steve Jobs biopic.

The new film will be based on Porno, author Irvine Welsh’s 2002 sequel to his original Trainspotting novel. It has been adapted by John Hodge, with Boyle declaring the sequel’s script “terrific”. Boyle wants the film to be his next project, if the scheduling issues can be resolved.

McGregor, who played anti-hero Renton, had previously said that a sequel would be a “terrible shame”.

But the actor has become more enthusiastic about the project and recently told the Edinburgh International Film Festival that “it would make sense for the sequel to be made in 2016, the 20th anniversary of the original”.

Porno finds the characters crossing paths 10 years after the original story. Simon “Sick Boy” Williamson returns to Edinburgh after failing with business ventures in London.

He enlists Renton for a final money-making scheme – to produce and direct a porno movie. Danny “Spud” Murphy, meanwhile, has been attending therapy sessions to help him kick the heroin habit whilst Begbie, played by Carlyle, remains unhinged.

Welsh has been involved in creative discussions over the sequel. He previously said: “We’re not interested in doing something that will trash the legacy of Trainspotting. We want to do something that’s very fresh and contemporary.”

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The highest-grossing British film of 1996, the Oscar-nominated Trainspotting was ranked 10th by the British Film Institute in its list of top 100 British films. Shot for just £1.5m, the Channel 4 film went on to take £48m at the global box office and continues to rack up DVD sales. It was voted the best Scottish film of all time in a public poll.

Trainspotting’s soundtrack album, featuring Iggy Pop’s “Lust For Life” and Underworld’s “Born Slippy”, became a huge hit at the height of Britpop in the 1990s.

The film became a box office hit in the United States, despite accusations that it promoted drug use.

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