TriStar Pictures (a division of Sony) has chosen to acquire worldwide rights to the forthcoming sequel to the influential British 1990s classic Trainspotting. Danny Boyle (Steve Jobs) will return as director as will the original ensemble cast- Ewan McGregor (Mortdecai), Jonny Lee Miller (Dark Shadows), Ewen Bremner (Exodus: Gods and Kings) and Robert Carlyle (The Full Monty). This marks a reunion twenty years in the making.
The original film- based on Irvine Welsh’s novel- followed the adventures and woes of a group of heroin addicts in Edinburgh. McGregor played protagonist Renton, a low-income Edinburgh junkie attempting to come clean. Miller’s Sick Boy and Bremner’s Spud are two in Renton’s inner circle of addict chums while Carlyle’s menacing Begbie served as the original films’ villain of the piece. Trainspotting was hailed for its visual ingenuity and brash style.
The film- released in 1996- became an international phenomenon and proved breakthroughs for director Boyle and leading man McGregor (both collaborated on Boyle’s first film two years prior- the cult hit Shallow Grave). In the years since, Trainspotting has become a seminal cult totem- even the films’ soundtrack and one-sheets have become collector’s items- and has been dubbed one of the strongest U.K. movies of all time. Trainspotting even earned an Oscar nomination for Best Adapted Screenplay and took home a BAFTA award in the same category. Miramax Films original distributed the films back in 1996.
A Trainspotting sequel has been percolating for some time now- really ever since Welsh wrote a follow-up novel entitled Porno back in 2002. The project seemed to pick up considerable steam as Boyle discussed the sequel while touring the fall festival circuit with Steve Jobs earlier this year. John Hodge, who penned the script for the first film, wrote an original script picking the story twenty years after the events of the first movie.
It’s not too much of a surprise that Sony grabbed the sequel as Sony co-chair Tom Rothman has held a strong relationship with Boyle through the years. As the former CEO of Fox Searchlight, Rothman helped groom previous Boyle hits including the Oscar winning Slumdog Millionaire and the Oscar nominated 127 Hours and has maintained a firm supporter of Boyle’s since his 1997 film A Life Less Ordinary (which also starred Ewan McGregor). Trainspotting 2 is readying to start shooting sometime in the spring of 2016 with a release date pegged for sometime in 2017.