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It seems like this is the age where movies and TV shows from years past are returning, much to the glee of fans. From Star Wars and Wet Hot American Summer to The X-Files and now Trainspotting, the seemingly impossible remakes and sequels are real. And I couldn’t be more psyched. However, the question in these long-awaited sequels is, how exactly will the time jump, as well as how the actors have aged, be addressed?
In a recent interview with nme.com, one of Trainspotting’s original stars Robert Carlyle (who has been starring in ABC’s Once Upon a Time) addresses this aspect of filmmaking. It turns out that the 20 year gap between each film will be utilized honestly. Carlyle says the characters will all age appropriately, and furthermore takes glee upon the age difference for the audience members. Carlyle goes on to elaborate more on the fate of the wonderfully flawed characters we met in 1996 with:
Without giving anything away, maybe some of [these characters] haven't really moved on. That's what the audience is going to have to go through with them. I tell you, this film is going to be quite emotional for people. Because the film sort of tells you to think about yourself. You are going to be thinking: 'Fuck. What have I done with my life?
The original Trainspotting, released in 1996 is a black comedy revolving around a group of heroin addicts in the 1980’s in Edinburgh. Trainspotting explores each of the characters' relationship to their addiction, as well as the economic climate of Edinburgh at the time. The film has since been universally acclaimed and developed a strong cult following as well. Starring Carlyle, Obi Wan himself Ewan McGregor, as well as future Grey’s Anatomy star Kevin McKidd.
This acknowledgement of time gone by seems like a bit of genius on the part of director Danny Boyle. Afterall, one of the main goals of film is to make the audience feel something, and what better way to do so than to have us identify with the set of characters. While we may not be able to understand what a heroin addiction feels like, we sure do feel the weight of aging and the power of time.
It’s essentially the opposite of what Netflix's original comedy Wet Hot American Summer did. While I took glee with the lack of acknowledgement in those actor’s aging, this conversely brings the aging of the Trainspotting actors and characters to the forefront. If more remakes took this approach, we might be able to enjoy an occasional remake, rather than barely getting through them.