Well before he famously failed to steer Anakin Skywalker away from the dark side of The Force in the Star Wars prequels, Ewan McGregor made his first big impact in Danny Boyle’s darkly humorous 1996 junkie romp, Trainspotting. Nearly two decades later, amidst some apparent bad blood with the director, the possibility of a return is promising.
In an interview with a publication from his native land, The Scotsman, McGregor fielded the often-asked question regarding a Trainspotting sequel. Expressing that his long-held animosity with Danny Boyle has been left in the past, McGregor even expressed a willingness to jump on board the potential sequel. According to McGregor:
I would be up for it, I’ve said that to Danny. Everybody has talked about it and speculated about it, but I don’t know if it’s happening yet. I’ve not seen a script and I don’t know if there is one. It’s been a long, long time. I just think I’ve changed my opinion about it. We’ve all moved on and there is a lot of water under the bridge now.
Not unlike the mentor/apprentice rift that plagued McGregor’s Obi-Wan Kenobi, his much-publicized rift with Boyle was the unfortunate culmination of a creative connection that saw McGregor star in a trio of the director's groundbreaking works, starting with 1994’s Shallow Grave, followed by the mainstream critical attention of Trainspotting, and the less-celebrated onscreen romance with Cameron Diaz in 1997’s A Life Less Ordinary. Of course, it was meant to continue with a starring role amidst the tropical intrigue of 2000’s The Beach, however, their working relationship took a dramatic nosedive when Boyle gave the lead part to a Titanic-fresh Leonardo DiCaprio.
However, for McGregor, that animosity has apparently been left in the past, replaced by more pleasant memories of the working relationship that defined his early career. As McGregor explains:
I miss working with Danny, I did some of my best work with him and he’s one of my favourite directors I’ve worked with. There was some bad blood and ill feeling, but that’s all gone now. I think it might be extraordinary to see a sequel 20 years after the original.
The enthusiasm for a Trainspotting sequel would equally be shared with fans as the film still renders itself memorable with its uniquely humorous, irreverent approach to the dark, bleak themes that center on the life of a heroin addict. It was gritty, filled with a variety of tongue-in-cheek humor, while also proving to be insanely surreal in its pathological focus. (Who can ever forget that horrifying hallucination of the dead baby crawling on the ceiling?) Plus, the self-sabotaging efforts of McGregor’s Mark Renton to break free of the wretched life of an addict was an equally fascinating character study.
While, a potential Trainspotting sequel is not quite at the stage of being greenlit, the original film’s screenwriter, John Hodge, is apparently working on a script that is said to be loosely based on Irvine Welsh’s sequel to Trainspotting called Porno. The apparent looseness of the adaptation will clearly rest in the book’s depicted timeframe. The novel was published in 2002, some nine years after the 1993 original. Obviously, by the time this would-be sequel hits, at the earliest in 2017, it will have been well over twenty years since the 1996 film.
Thus, the sequel story, which sees the gang reunite in some capacity after McGregor’s Renton absconded with the load of cash that gang meant to split after their major drug deal, will need several contextual changes. Yet, with the possibility of McGregor on board, along with fellow cast members Jonny Lee Miller, Ewen Bremner, and Robert Carlyle, the decades may only serve to ripen the rambunctious reunion.
At this time, no further details have emerged regarding the status of the Trainspotting sequel, however, cautious optimism may be recommended.