The history of decades-later sequels is a rocky one, as we’ve documented in the past. But that doesn’t stop people from trying, and some prospects are more enticing than others. Take the idea of a “Trainspotting” sequel, which has kicked around for a while, but finally seemed to solidify earlier this year when director Danny Boyle told us he was developing a script for a follow-up to his seminal breakthrough with original writer John Hodge. After all, Boyle’s at the top of his game, and the set-up seemed to be more suited for a follow-up than most, particularly given that novelist Irvine Welsh had already penned a literary sequel, “Porno.”
But there was one major question: Ewan McGregor. The Scottish actor reached stardom playing Renton in the 1996 original, but he and Boyle fell out when he was replaced by Leonardo DiCaprio in “The Beach,” and haven’t worked together since. Furthermore, McGregor didn’t seem to be a fan of the idea of a sequel altogether, saying in 2009 “I didn’t think the book was very good. The novel of ‘Trainspotting’ was quite fantastic, it was beautiful, quite moving and disturbing writing, and then I find that the sequel… the book that Irvine Welsh wrote didn’t move me as much… He’d written a good sequel to the film as opposed to a sequel to his book. Also, I think just the idea of getting the cast together again 10 or 15 years later isn’t good enough, you need more than that. I wouldn’t be want to damage ‘Trainspotting”s reputation, because it was an amazing film and a very important film of its time, a very important film for me and… a very important film for British cinema. I wouldn’t want to leave people remembering a poor sequel rather than leaving its reputation where it sits at the moment, which is kind of a phenomenal film.”
But with Boyle suggesting that the new film would only be a loose adaptation of “Porno,” and also making a public apology to McGregor (admitting a few months back “We didn’t treat him very well, I’ve got to be honest about it. We didn’t behave at our best”), it seems like bridges might be mended. And when Boyle reunited with the cast earlier in the week for a special Time Out screening of the film in London, McGregor joined them by phone and indicated that he’s on board for “T2” (as Boyle is referring to the sequel).
“It’s funny,” McGregor said, “Irvine Welsh’s novel, ‘Porno,’ is set ten years after ‘Trainspotting,’ but I wasn’t ready to do it then, for lots of reasons. But now there’s talk of it happening in a few years’ time, and I’m totally up for it. I’d be so chuffed to be back on set with everybody and I think it would be an extraordinary experience.” So it looks like it’s full steam ahead on the project, then, so long as Hodge can get that script right. Time Out has full video highlights from the Q&A over at their site, so head over there to check out more from Boyle, McGregor and co.