Back in 1996, director Danny Boyle cemented himself as one of the most exciting up-and-coming filmmakers of the decade with Trainspotting, effectively launching not only his, but also the careers of several of the film's main cast members; including Ewan McGregor, Ewen Bremner, Robert Carlyle, Jonny Lee Miller, and more. Adapted from Irvine Welsh's novel of the same name, the group worked together to turn Trainspotting into one of the most iconic films about drug addiction ever. 20 years later, and still to this day, fans of the film are able to recite the opening monologue from McGregor's Renton.
Next year, the ensemble of Trainspotting is set to reunite on the big screen as well, with T2 Trainspotting, a long-gap sequel following Renton as he returns to Edinburgh to reunite with his friends from the original film. With 2017 already featuring other large, long-gap follow-ups like Alien: Covenant and Blade Runner 2049, T2: Trainspotting is shaping up to be one of the more unique and anticipated high-profile films of next year.
Now, with the film set to hit theaters in the U.S. in early March of next year, Empire has released a brand new photo from the film, which teases even more strange adventures between Renton and Sick Boy (Miller). The film's producer, Andrew MacDonald, also spoke briefly on the film's 20 year time gap from the original, saying it only makes the reunion between its characters that much more interesting:
“It’s just more interesting that it’s 20 years later. In movie terms, ten years earlier felt like a couple of days after. The worst thing will be if it feels like a film from 1996 as opposed to a film from 2017.”
This new image follows the release of two trailers for the Trainspotting sequel that've provided an unexpected update on Renton's monologue from the first film for the 21st century. Unlike some other long-gap sequels to hit the big screen over the past few years, the trailer's callbacks to its predecessor don't feel gimmicky or cheap either, but fresh and exciting. After all, it's not everyday that moviegoers get to see characters like Renton, Sick Boy, Spud, and Begbie onscreen together again.
It's been a long time since Boyle directed the original film too - and with a number of high-calibre films added to his resume since then (like Steve Jobs, 127 Hours, Slumdog Millionaire, 28 Days Later, and more), it looks like he's bringing a familiar, but simultaneously evolved approach to the Trainspotting sequel. Despite not sticking closely to the plot of Welsh's original sequel novel, Porno, the author himself recently came out and said he believes T2 to be better than the original 1996 film.
With only a few more months to go until its theatrical release, that's the kind of hype you can't buy, especially for a film that's banking heavily on the brand recognition of its predecessor's cult classic status and the star power of its lead actors. To their credit, it looks like Boyle and co. have thrown everything at the Trainspotting sequel that they can; now all that's left is to wait and see how much of it will actually stick with audiences early next year.
- T2: Trainspotting (2017) release date: Mar 31, 2017