When it was released back in 1996, director Danny Boyle’s adaptation of Irvine Welsh’s novel Trainspotting became an instant cult hit. The film deals with the daily lives of a group of Edinburgh heroin addicts and audiences were generally delighted by its raw and sometimes laugh out loud subject matter.
Despite its audience appeal, however, Trainspotting also succeeded in raising the ire of more than a few critics, who found the depiction of heroin addicts to be a glamorization of drug abuse. For his part, Boyle dismissed the heavy criticisms, saying that he didn’t think the film was “worth getting worked up about."
Now 20 years on since Trainspotting first arrived in theaters and swallowed up a sensational $72 million globally on a $3.5 million budget, Trainspotting 2 is on its way. Earlier this week a teaser for the upcoming film arrived and although it contained no new footage, it did reveal that “T2” would be released in the U.K. on January 27th, 2017. U.S. fans were left wondering when they’d have their chance to see the sequel, but EW is now reporting that Trainspotting 2 will receive a limited U.S. release on February 3rd, before going wide on a week later on February 10th.
Though the film itself is simply known as Trainspotting 2 for now, the movie is loosely based on Irvine Welsh’s 2002 sequel novel, "Porno". "Porno" dealt with the main characters ten years on from the original events of Trainspotting. According to Welsh, Trainspotting 2 will still take place in present day Edinburgh, but rather than catching up with the characters after a ten year hiatus, the gap will reflect a real time leap of 20 years. Trainspotting’s main characters will all return for the sequel – played by the original cast – which will focus on the lads' efforts to run a successful business in the vice industry, making pornographic films. What seems like a simple plan turns out to be anything but, especially once the psychopathic Begbie (Robert Carlyle) re-enters the fold.
It can be a particularly tricky business creating a sequel to a film that’s separated from its original by decades. For Trainspotting fans, it’s a comfort knowing that John Hodge, who wrote the original Trainspotting script, has also adapted the sequel. Wary of besmirching the memory of the original film, Ewan McGregor (who plays Mark Renton) spoke earlier this year about the cast’s general concern regarding this issue, only to praise Hodge’s work on the sequel, attributing its quality to the cast’s collective decision to return.
With direction from Danny Boyle, a script by John Hodge and the entire cast of its original main characters returning, Trainspotting 2 stands a good chance of hitting the mark. The decision to make a sequel wasn’t one that occurred overnight and the amount of care and due diligence that’s lead to production bodes well for anyone who couldn’t wait to take another peek into the sordid world of Trainspotting.
Trainspotting 2 will begins a limited U.S. theatrical release on February 3rd, 2017, before it goes into wide release a week later.