Trainspotting is my favorite movie. I don’t need a sequel, and I’m unsure how much I even want one. But I will be in the theater opening day if director Danny Boyle ever gets around to the one he wants to make once the original cast ages enough to suit the story: “When they have aged clearly into a mid-life kind of crisis, basically.”
Boyle is currently at SXSW to promote his latest movie, Trance, and addressed the timeline and likelihood of the sequel. Trainspotting screenwriter John Hodge is currently working on the script, and Boyle hopes to reunite the cast—Ewan McGregor, Ewan Bremner, Jonny Lee Miller, Robert Carlyle, Kevin McKidd, Kelly Macdonald—for a sequel in 2016. Hit the jump for quotes.
The Playlist got Boyle on the record to explain his vision for the sequel:
“This has been a long time coming. There’s always been this long term plan for Trainspotting 2, if John [Hodge] can produce a decent enough script, I don’t think there will be any barriers to Ewan [McGregor] or any of the cast coming back. I think they’ll wanna know that the parts are good so they don’t feel like they are letting anyone down. The reason for doing it again is that people cherish the original, people remember it or have caught up with it if they never saw because they were younger. So you want to make sure you don’t disappoint people. That will be the only criteria I think.”
Most of the cast is currently scattered across television (seriously: see Elementary, Once Upon a Time, Grey’s Anatomy, and Boardwalk Empire), so most of the schedules should align in the summer hiatus. McGregor is the busiest, and may or may not be wary of reuniting with Boyle after he was passed over for the lead role in The Beach. But McGregor at least seems open to the idea, telling the Daily Record in January, “I would always read [a sequel script] if I was sent it.” That’s promising. I guess one could make a sequel that doesn’t center on Renton, but I don’t see why one would.
Trainspotting author Irvine Welsh wrote a sequel novel, Porno. However, Boyle previously described Porno as “not a great book in the way that Trainspotting, the original novel, is genuinely a masterpiece.” Boyle clarified at SXSW that Trainspotting 2 will not be a straight adaptation of Porno:
“It’s very loosely based on Porno. There’s a couple of things that are based on the book, but obviously we’d have to have Irvine [Welsh] on board.”
As for when he wants to move on this project, Boyle notes the platinum anniversary is fast approaching:
“Well, the ideal time would be Porno in 2016. Because it was 1996 when Trainspotting came out. Twenty years, it’s like wow, where did that go.”
2016 is still a few years away, so it remains to be seen if all the pieces will fall into place as Boyle hopes. If it does, let’s do our best to manage expectations. Any sequel inevitably flirts with disappointment, especially one that arrives two decades later. With Boyle steering the ship, I believe it will be fun to spend more time with these characters no matter what, and see any quality on top of that as a bonus.
Choose to watch the iconic opening to Trainspotting now: