Director Danny Boyle is out on the interview circuit these days to promote his acclaimed new film Steve Jobs, but even as that film is very much deserving of all the attention it’s getting, plenty of Boyle’s fans are already bugging him about his next project: A sequel to the classic, heroin-fueled black comedy Trainspotting.
Boyle announced the sequel last month, and said the original cast is all onboard to return for another go, but there are still plenty of questions, like how you sequelize such a singular film two decades after its release. Trainspotting is one of the great, identifying films of ‘90s cinema, so how do you update that while remaining true to the spirit of the original?
Well, Boyle’s not spilling details, but speaking with Vulture this week, he did say that one of the reasons he knew it felt right this time was that, 10 years ago, he saw a sequel script so middling that he didn’t even bother to send it to the cast.
“The actors were very fearful about a sequel as well!” admitted Boyle. “Actors are a great barometer of whether something is worthwhile or not. Their bullshit filter is very, very strong, because they’re going to be the ones out there trying to make a script look truthful and believable. When it comes to doing another Trainspotting, they were very nervous, because for all of them, it’s a large part of their reputation and they feel very protective towards their character.”
So, what made this time different? Well, Boyle spent a week in Edinburgh meeting with producers, screenwriter John Hodge, and Trainspotting novelist Irvine Welsh to hammer out ideas for the sequel. When Hodge turned in the script based on those meetings, Boyle knew it was going to work.
“You just knew,” said Boyle. “It had this feeling about it, where it honors the original and it won’t disappoint people. It’s not the same film, but it can’t be, and we wouldn’t want it to be. And the actors all responded to it as I thought they would.”
So, because Boyle waited for the right time and let a mediocre script slide, we’re now finally getting a Trainspotting sequel, and if you believe Boyle’s hype (and given the man’s career, I tend to), it’s going to be the sequel we deserve.