More Trainspotting Movies Are Still Possible

by Kayleigh Hughes
TriStar Pictures

It's been more than 20 years since Danny Boyle brought the character of young Scottish junkie Mark Renton (played by Ewan McGregor) and all his friends to vivid, sometimes repulsive life in Trainspotting. Now, the cast and crew are back for a long overdue sequel: T2 Trainspotting, which checks in on Mark, Sick Boy, Spud, and the rest of the gang now that they're middle-aged and confused by social media. Many fans were probably not expecting a sequel, given how creative, original, and complete the first film was, and in the world of trilogies and franchises, it's now worth wondering if there will be more Trainspotting movies even beyond this sequel.

As it turns out, Boyle had been planning to make a follow-up film for a while, being quoted in 2013 by IndieWire as saying that, "There’s always been this long term plan for Trainspotting 2." And that makes sense, given that Trainspotting was based off of a novel of the same name, by writer Irvine Welsh, that spawned a sequel, 2002's Porno, and a prequel, 2012's Skagboys, as well as a one-off detective fiction film about Trainspotting character Begbie called The Blade Artist.

In his conversation with IndieWire, Boyle noted that he intended for the Trainspotting sequel to be less than a straight adaptation of Porno, and that he would only take a few things from the book, though he would want Welsh to be "on board" with everything. An NME story quoted McGregor as feeling a similar hesitance about Porno, with the actor saying, “I wasn’t touched by it in the same way" he was with Trainspotting.

Now in 2017, T2 is finally here with Welsh, indeed, on board, along with Boyle, McGregor, and everyone else from the original. Everyone seems pretty excited about the final product, and some involved with the film have hinted that the stories of Trainspotting's characters aren't over yet. Speaking to NME, Irvine Welsh stated, "I think there’s probably room for one more kind of Trainspotting-themed film," leaving fans to wonder whether that comment might be suggesting an adaptation of Skagboys.

However, in a conversation with The Guardian, Robert Carlyle, the actor who plays Begbie, suggested that "we ain’t seen the end of Begbie just yet,” and that he is "talking" with producers about another film as that character. That means we're far more likely, I'd imagine, to see an adaptation of The Blade Artist than to get a glimpse of Mark Renton's character in a prequel.

It remains to be seen just how fans respond to T2, but I'm skeptical of stretching this franchise any further, especially if the focus is going to be on Begbie.