In the 20 years since audiences were introduced to Trainspotting’s ’90s nihilist, heroin marinated, petty criminal cast, a lot has changed. Aside from Mark ‘Rentboy’ Renton’s (Ewan McGregor) penchant for revolutionist rants about life choices (witnessed in the sequel’s trailer), the film’s central character has apparently swerved a supposedly grim destiny to evolve and do the unexpected – he chose life.
This is the focus of a new T2 Trainspotting featurette released (see above) that further introduces audiences with the Renton of the present, his current motivations, and the character arc that will deliver some surprises when the sequel reaches theaters.
Trainspotting was a gritty slice of Scottish life that encapsulated an era. The movie propelled director Danny Boyle’s fast-paced, contemporary style to fame, and launched the careers of many of its actors. The film’s fearlessly controversial content and hit soundtrack earned the underdog popularity and gravitas of cult classic status almost instantly. The sequel has been a long-term dream for both Boyle, and the returning cast joining McGregor, and will be loosely based on the source material’s book sequel; ‘Porno’ by Irvine Welsh.
This featurette allows McGregor to discuss and elaborate on the elements teased in the trailers for T2, such as Renton’s new life in Amsterdam, how his 20-year old character’s traits have developed into a 40-something personality, why he has chosen to revisit his old life, and the past betrayal of his friends – which appears to serve as the main conflict for the sequel. The trademark graphics and music associated with the original Trainspotting are used in the same way we have seen in the T2 trailers, to reassure fans of the movie’s content. This is combined with some key clips to reinforce and supplement McGregor’s narrative, and some behind the scenes footage that expand on Renton’s characterization.
These offered character details (such as the jogging) may surprise fans, but Renton’s evolution could well be a smart choice of storytelling that validates the authenticity of these characters we were introduced to 20 years ago, and the unexpected, chaotic nature of human existence in modern society. This evolution will mirror the 20-year growth of the film’s original fans who are revisiting this iconic film landscape along with Renton. It could also potentially provide a successful conflict to explore and hopefully allow for many elements of the original film to be recreated more faithfully in T2.
If this balance is achieved between brand integrity and character evolution, T2 could validate the need for long-awaited sequels that is fast becoming a Hollywood trend, by pulling it off in a way that pleases long term fans and brings something new to the table. We will keep you up to date with all T2-related developments as they happen.