'Trainspotting' sequel is on track, says Danny Boyle

Posted by · 12:39 pm · March 11th, 2013

Only last week, we listed Danny Boyle and Ewan McGregor as one of several actor-director teams we’d like to see reunited, with a prospective “Trainspotting” sequel the ideal outcome. Well, if Boyle himself is to be believed, it looks as if we’ve got our wish.

Speaking at the SXSW fest over the weekend, where Boyle unveiled some footage from his new thriller “Trance” — already being press-screened, and due out in a couple of weeks — the Oscar-winning director claimed that “Porno,” the long-mooted follow-up to his hit 1996 junkie drama, is back on his agenda and set to roll in 2016.

Boyle says he’s working on the screenplay, a rough adaptation of Irvine Welsh’s 2002 novel, with scribe John Hodge, who received an Oscar nomination for “Trainspotting.” He also claims he can get the entire original cast on board — including McGregor, a three-time collaborator from whom he has been famously estranged since 2000, when the Scotsman was passed over in favor of Leonardo DiCaprio for the lead in Boyle’s “The Beach.” Says Boyle:

“This has been a long time coming. There’s always been this long term plan for ‘Trainspotting 2.’ If John can produce a decent enough script, I don’t think there will be any barriers to Ewan or any of the cast coming back. I think they’ll want to know that the parts are good, so they don’t feel like they are letting anyone down. The reason for doing it again is that people cherish the original, people remember it — or have caught up with it if they never saw it because they were younger. So you want to make sure you don’t disappoint people. That will be the only criteria, I think.”

It’s obviously risky returning this late in the game to follow a film held by many as a generational touchstone — it seems impossible that “Porno” could match the pop-cultural impact of “Trainspotting.” But Boyle has never been a cash-in filmmaker, and he’s never yet made the same film twice: I’m inclined to trust that he’s doing it because he has genuine faith in the material. The good news — if, like me, you weren’t a fan of Welsh’s sloppy, critically dismissed sequel — is that Boyle describes the project as a “very loose” adaptation.

Before “Porno,” meanwhile, Boyle has a pair of period pieces in the works — a typically full slate for the director who found time to shoot “Trance” while orchestrating the 2012 Olympic opening ceremony. A period piece would be first for the director. He’s not divulging any details, other than to say they’re not like “Downton Abbey”: “They’re interesting,” he says. Fine by me. 

Are you keen to see a sequel to “Trainspotting?” Do you share Boyle’s confidence about reuniting the cast? Tell us in the comments.

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