Home Entertainment Author Irvine Welsh could expand his TRAINSPOTTING universe to TV

Author Irvine Welsh could expand his TRAINSPOTTING universe to TV

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I was quite surprised when I first heard that a sequel to 1996’s Trainspotting was in the works because of just how much time had passed since its release, and pleasantly so when the first trailer for T2: Judgement Day Trainspotting dropped the other day. It really punched a whole bunch of nostalgia buttons for me because I’m more-or-less the same age as those characters, and have aged in much the same way as they have, and life and change happens.

It’s something author Irvine Welsh felt when he got together again with all the actors and director Danny Boyle to work on the sequel twenty years after the original, saying in a recent interview with NME:

Everybody is older and so much more skilled. Everybody is really hungry again and vibing being back together. [It’s like] when you watch a band get back together and a lot of bands you see, their kids have grown up, they’ve got divorced or they need money, that kind of thing, but they aren’t really producing good stuff. That was one of the most important things, to see if we were still creating that buzz working together.

He also indicated, when asked if we could see any further adaptions involving the characters, that he’s looking into bringing them to the small screen, saying:

Basically, I’ve plans for them all. All in various kind of schedules or adaptations. It’s all ruling on cable TV, cable TV has some interesting developments. We’re working on all these different kind of things. I think now anybody who’s in the book, whether the like it or not, they’re working on the way of being in the film. You keep that in mind. As soon as you’ve written it, you’re thinking about how it can move into different mediums.

There are currently four novels set in the ‘Trainspotting’ universe – ‘Trainspotting’ and ‘Porno’ form the basis of Trainspotting (obviously) and T2: Trainspotting respectively. Two other novels that could be mined for a potential TV series are 2012’s ‘Skagboys’ – which is a prequel to ‘Trainspotting’ and details just how the characters descended into heroin junkie-dom – and 2016’s ‘The Blade Artist’ – which focuses on the character of Begbie and how he struggles to contain his inner demons. Either of those two novels could make for an interesting TV series, especially if it ends up on one of the less-restrictive cable TV networks or a streaming service.


However it’s unlikely that any of the returning actors would be involved in any potential TV series, except possibly in cameo form, as all of them have flourishing careers:

  • Renton aka Ewan McGregor has a very active movie and TV schedule, as well as getting into directing with the recently released American Pastoral.
  • Sick Boy aka Jonny Lee Miller is busy being the best Sherlock Holmes on TV in Elementary, no matter what people say about Bumblebee Cucumbersnitch and his take on the character.
  • Begbie aka Robert Carlyle is currently the persistently evil presence of Mr. Gold/Rumplestiltskin in the long-running Once Upon A Time.
  • And finally Spud aka Ewen Bremner has also been busy of late, albeit with minor roles. He even played Sherlock Holmes (another one!) in the thankfully short-lived Houdini and Doyle.

The author also spoke briefly about how he feels about the upcoming sequel:

It has managed to take the most dynamic elements of the [Trainspotting] book and Porno [Trainspotting sequel book, on which T2 is partially based] but also look forward to how it can be contemporary and present day… In some ways, I think it’s a better movie [than Trainspotting]… They have become such iconic characters and this is going to cement that status even more.

It feels like a big epic movie. I’m very, very excited about it and I think people are going to be excited [too]. You’ll always get the critics who moan about it not being the original Trainspotting movie or being too much like it… [but] it’s going to be a great film, a great standalone film but also work with the first film as well to bring that whole world together.

I think it’s a magnificent achievement to be able to do that, to keep the spirit of the book but also to make a modern British film.

I know I’m looking forward to the sequel, and while initially hesitant at the idea of a ‘Trainspotting’ TV series – it could just work.

What do you think?

Last Updated: November 10, 2016

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