Trainspotting, Danny Boyle’s classic 1996 film about the exploits of heroin addicts in Edinburgh, based on the novel by the provocative writer Irvine Welsh, is getting the sequel treatment. Welsh published his own sequel, Porno, in 2002, which saw some returning characters move into the adult film business, and now Boyle’s getting in on the act (as in, he’s making a sequel, not mucky movies, as far as we know). Here’s everything we know so far.
The film will trade on sly references to the original
Lookie here at this trailer, which was released in early November 2016. A bloke being chased down the street, a surreal shot of someone falling (presumably a fantastical representation of the effects of heroin), Kelly Macdonald shagging, Renton telling us to “choose life”. It’s both nostalgic and new, and we need a lie down.
It’s only “loosely” based on Porno
The project was first announced in 2013, when Boyle explained at SXSW Film Festival in Austin, Texas that it wouldn’t be an overly faithful adaptation of Irvine Welsh’s follow-up novel. The author has also said: “We’ve had to evolve past that, because the actors would have been ten years older when Porno came out, and now they’re 20 years older. It has to take into account that reality.”
Ewan McGregor has changed his mind
Early reports of the project noted that the actor, who played the loveable anti-hero Renton in Trainspotting, had previously said it would be “a terrible shame” to make a sequel. Actually, that’s not quite accurate – in 2003, at the Cannes Film Festival, he said, “It would be a terrible shame to make a sequel if it wasn’t as good,” which isn’t quite the same thing, is it? (Although he also went on to say he didn’t enjoy Porno as much as its predecessor, which is a bit awks).
The budget is bigger
Trainspotting was made for around £1.5m but this one could be closer to around £13m, though Boyle wants to keep it below that to minimise studio interference.
The original scriptwriter returned
John Hodges, who penned the BAFTA-winning Trainspotting script, wrote the screenplay. Robert Carlyle, who played degenerate bad bugger Begbie, told us way back in 2014: “Honestly, it’s one of the best scripts I’ve fucking read. I mean, ever. What John Hodge has done is just so clever.” Speaking to NME in November, author Irvine Welsh said, “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.”
The iconic “Choose life’ monologue has had an update
This time around, it references social media, “revenge porn”, “zero-hour contracts”, crushing commutes and the many other miseries of modern life. You can read the updated “Choose life” monologue in full, if you like.
The film is going to make us all get a bit introspective
“I tell you, this film is going to be quite emotional for people. Because the film sort of tells you to think about yourself. You are going to be thinking: ‘Fuck. What have I done with my life?'” Robert Carlyle told us.
The soundtrack bangs
And only one artists has been revealed: Wolf Alice. But the use of their song ‘Silk’, from the album ‘My Love Is Cool’, fits perfectly, summing up the numb and elegantly wasted outlook of the characters in the film. The band was well chuffed, with bassist Theo Ellis tweeting the following:
There’s a release date.
And that release date is January 27. Choose the comfiest seat in your local cinema.