Trainspotting has become a cult classic for many. The movie, which was first released in 1996, was directed by Danny Boyle and made stars of its cast: Ewan McGregor, Ewen Bremner, Johnny Lee Miller, and Robert Carlyle. Trainspotting was gritty, raw and a very real look at heroin addiction and the effect it can have on users, family, and friends. In spite of the subject matter, Trainspotting was also very funny and quite endearing. That the movie worked on multiple levels is surely a factor in its success and sustained popularity over the years.
A little over twenty years later, T2 Trainspotting will arrive on screens early in the new year, reuniting Boyle with his original cast members. The much anticipated sequel is loosely based on Trainspotting novelist Irvine Welsh’s follow up novel, “Porno”. However, “Porno” was set ten years after the first Trainspotting, whereas T2 picks up in the present day. Welsh has still been closely involved in the creative process on T2, though, and the author has admitted that he thinks the Trainspotting movie sequel is actually better than the original.
Here is what Welsh told NME, regarding that matter:
“We were all nervous before we decided to do it… [but] once we saw the script, everybody was confident that we were certainly not going to trash the legacy of the first film and that we were going to build on it. It has managed to take the most dynamic elements of the [Trainspotting] book and Porno but also look forward to how it can be contemporary and present day… In some ways, I think it’s a better movie [than Trainspotting]… They have become such iconic characters and this is going to cement that status even more.”
A recently released trailer for T2 seemed to cement Welsh’s words, with homage being paid to the original movie but undoubtedly yanking us right into the present day, too. It also gave fans a stark reminder of what we’ve been missing with no Renton, Sick Boy, Soud and Begbie in our lives all these years – but it seems Welsh potentially has plans for that, too.
In the same NME interview, he explained that his other books, set within the Trainspotting universe, could well find their way to the small screen in a TV spinoff. The author published “Skagboys”, a prequel to Trainspotting which follows Renton and Spud’s first descent into heroin addiction, in 2012; and “The Blade Artist” in 2016, which focuses on Begbie’s past and present. As Welsh explained:
“Basically, I’ve plans for them all. All in various kind of schedules or adaptations. It’s all ruling on cable TV, cable TV has some interesting developments. We’re working on all these different kind of things. I think now anybody who’s in the book, whether they like it or not, they’re working on the way of being in the film. You keep that in mind. As soon as you’ve written it, you’re thinking about how it can move into different mediums.”
Welsh doesn’t elaborate further; presumably this is just an idea thus far rather than being in any actual concrete planning stage, but it’s still exciting news nonetheless for Trainspotting fans. The possibility of a spinoff involving Begbie could mean we see Carlyle reprising his role yet again, while an earlier prequel could either mean McGregor and Bremner teaming up again, or younger actors entering the fray. Either way, Welsh’s words are ripe for retelling onscreen, as Trainspotting has already proven. Hopefully, the buzz around T2 Trainspotting will ensure his plans actually come to fruition.