Sequelitis is a term that so often rears its head in the movie industry, but in 2016, the onslaught of Hollywood sequels led many to question whether ‘movie X’ was really necessary in the first place. Take Independence Day: Resurgence as an example; a follow-up two decades in the making that failed to capture the charm of its forebear, while X-Men: Apocalypse and Alice Through the Looking Glass spring to mind as other examples of movie sequels that largely underperformed when compared to their predecessors.
That places a particular weight of expectation on the shoulders of Trainspotting 2 – or T2: Trainspotting, if we’re being all official – Danny Boyle’s long-rumored follow-up that’s due to pull into stations across the globe early next year. It reunites the old crew for another round of drug-induced shenanigans, with Mark Renton (Ewan McGregor), Spud (Ewen Bremner), Diane (Kelly Macdonald) and Begbie (Robert Carlyle) all back in action after 20 years on the sidelines.
Chatting to Empire about the oncoming reunion, Carlyle began by praising the emotional resonance of T2‘s script:
“I thought, ‘Why the fuck am I crying at this?’” The entire cast and crew were emotional, he says. “Danny felt it. Ewan and Ewen felt it. Jonny, we all felt this real emotional connection to these characters and to this world. But that first read – I was speaking to Ewan McGregor, saying, ‘I cannae believe I’m feeling like this.’ I’ve never cried when I’ve read a screenplay before. Ever.”
Ditto for McGregor, who conceded that while the initial thought of reprising as Renton caused some apprehension, returning to the fold for Trainspotting 2 ultimately felt natural.
“As soon as I got the Adidas on, I was alright. Because I’m Renton, and Renton’s me. There was nothing to find – he was already there.” McGregor pointed out that he and his character are interchangeable: “I hadn’t seen Danny for all those years, and Renton hasn’t seen his mates for all those years. I haven’t lived in Scotland since I was 17. He fucked off, and I fucked off. He’s coming back, I was coming back. There were an awful lot of parallels, you might say.”
T2: Trainspotting pulls into UK theaters on January 27, 2017, before expanding across the pond in time for March 3. As things stand, that pits Danny Boyle’s sequel up against Logan.