T2 Trainspotting

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T2 Trainspotting
T2 – Trainspotting poster.jpg
British release poster
Directed byDanny Boyle
Produced by
Screenplay byJohn Hodge
Based onPorno and Trainspotting
by Irvine Welsh
Music byRick Smith
CinematographyAnthony Dod Mantle
Edited byJon Harris
Distributed byTriStar Pictures
Release date
  • 22 January 2017 (2017-01-22) (Edinburgh)
  • 27 January 2017 (2017-01-27) (United Kingdom)
Running time
117 minutes[1]
CountryUnited Kingdom
Budget$18 million[2][3]
Box office$42.1 million[2]

T2 Trainspotting is a 2017 British crime comedy drama film, set in and around Edinburgh, Scotland. The film was directed by Danny Boyle and written by John Hodge, based on characters created by Irvine Welsh in his novel Trainspotting and its follow-up Porno. T2 was released in the United Kingdom on 27 January 2017,[4] and worldwide throughout February and March 2017.

A sequel to Boyle's 1996 film Trainspotting, T2 stars the original ensemble cast, including leads Ewan McGregor, Ewen Bremner, Jonny Lee Miller, and Robert Carlyle, with Shirley Henderson, James Cosmo, and Kelly Macdonald. T2 features a new character, Veronika, played by Anjela Nedyalkova. T2 includes film clips, music and echoes from the first film.


Twenty years after stealing £16,000 in drug money from his friends and making a new life in Amsterdam, 46-year old Mark Renton returns to Edinburgh after having a heart attack in a gym. While he has been clean from heroin for 20 years, his marriage has failed and he is about to lose his job. Daniel "Spud" Murphy has returned to heroin addiction after having lost everything including his wife, Gail, and visitation with his teenage son, Fergus, whom he fathered shortly after Renton left. Simon "Sick Boy" Williamson abuses cocaine, runs a failing pub, and engages in blackmail and filming schemes with his Bulgarian girlfriend, Veronika. Meanwhile, Francis "Franco" Begbie is serving a 25-year prison sentence after being arrested following the drug deal, and attacks his lawyer after being denied parole.

Renton goes to Spud's apartment just in time to save him from a suicide attempt. Spud initially resents the intervention, but Renton offers to help him out of his addiction. Renton visits Sick Boy at the pub, where Sick Boy attacks him. Afterward, Renton meets Veronika and pays Sick Boy back his original share of the money. Sick Boy informs Veronika that he is going to string Renton along and make him pay for his betrayal.

Meanwhile, Begbie escapes from prison. He returns to his girlfriend's flat and meets his college-bound son, Frank Jr., whom he forces to join him in burgling houses. Begbie also visits Sick Boy in his pub, where Sick Boy pretends to have heard of Renton living in Amsterdam and promises Begbie to provide him with a false passport in order to exact his revenge.

Renton, Sick Boy and Veronika fraudulently apply for a £100,000 European Union business development grant to turn the upper floor of Sick Boy's pub into a brothel. Veronika and Renton begin an affair, while Spud also joins in the renovation, befriends Veronika, and, inspired by Veronika, decides to write his memoirs. One of Sick Boy's blackmail targets reports him to the police, and Renton seeks legal advice from his former girlfriend, Diane, a high-priced solicitor. The proceeds of their crimes are used up in legal fees and Sick Boy's cocaine habit. Meanwhile, Begbie is hunting for Renton, determined to kill him.

Begbie visits Spud, and in reading his memoirs, discovers that Renton left Spud his share of the money. Veronika arrives and Begbie takes her phone, which he uses to text Renton and Sick Boy to have them come to the pub at midnight. Veronika takes Spud to her apartment and asks him to leave with her, promising him half of the £100,000. Spud is afraid that he would spend it all on heroin again, so she offers to give his share to Gail and Fergus instead. He helps her steal the money by forging Renton's and Sick Boy's signatures to transfer it to her account. Meanwhile, after reading another excerpt of Spud's writings about their encounter with Begbie's alcoholic father in the derelict Leith Central railway station, Begbie visits his girlfriend's flat for the last time, apologizing to Frank Jr. for his behaviour and telling him to be a better man than he or his father were, before departing.

At the pub, Spud arrives too late to warn Renton and Sick Boy of Begbie's trap. Begbie knocks Sick Boy down and chases Renton across the renovation works of the pub's upstairs floor. Renton ends up hanging by the neck from some electrical wiring after Begbie throws him through the floor. Begbie tries to pull down Renton to strangle him, but Sick Boy douses him with pepper spray and saves Renton. Begbie pulls out a sawn-off shotgun and tries to kill them both, but Spud knocks him out with a toilet bowl.

They leave Begbie trapped in the boot of Sick Boy's car, at the door of the prison from which he escaped. Veronika returns to her young son in Bulgaria. Spud puts together a book of memoirs from his writings and begins mending his relationship with Gail, who suggests a title (which is implied to be the novel Trainspotting). Renton and Sick Boy resume their old friendship. Renton moves back into his father's home and embraces him in reconciliation, before going into his bedroom and dancing to a remix of "Lust for Life".


  • Ewan McGregor as Mark "Rent Boy" Renton
    • Hamish Haggerty as young Renton
    • Ben Skelton as 9-year-old Renton
    • Connor McIndoe as 20-year-old Renton
  • Ewen Bremner as Daniel "Spud" Murphy
    • Aiden Haggarty as 9-year-old Spud
    • John Bell as 20-year-old Spud
  • Jonny Lee Miller as Simon "Sick Boy" Williamson
    • Logan Gillies as 9-year-old Simon
    • James McElvar as 20-year-old Simon
  • Robert Carlyle as Francis "Franco" Begbie
    • Daniel Jackson as young Begbie
    • Daniel Smith as 9-year-old Begbie
    • Christopher Mullen as 20-year-old Begbie
  • Kelly Macdonald as Diane Coulston
  • Shirley Henderson as Gail Houston
  • James Cosmo as Mr Renton
  • Anjela Nedyalkova as Veronika Kovach
  • Steven Robertson as Stoddart
  • Elek Kish as Dozo
  • Simon Weir as Jailhoose
  • Bradley Welsh as Mr Doyle
  • Pauline Turner as June Begbie
  • Kyle Fitzpatrick as Fergus
    • Charlie Hardie as 9-year-old Fergus
  • Scot Greenan as Frank Jr.
  • Katie Leung as Nurse
  • Eileen Nicholas as Mrs Renton (archival footage)
  • Kevin McKidd as Tommy MacKenzie (archival footage)
    • Elijah Wolf as 9-year-old Tommy
    • Michael Shaw as 20-year-old Tommy

Footage included McGregor, Bremner, Miller and Carlyle from the original Trainspotting film. The author of Trainspotting, Irvine Welsh, appears near the middle of the film as Mikey Forrester, reprising his role from the first film. Carlyle also plays Begbie's father, the briefly seen wino in the Leith train station.


In January 2009, Danny Boyle declared his wish to make a sequel to his 1996 film Trainspotting which would take place nine years after the original film, based on Irvine Welsh's sequel, Porno. He was reportedly waiting until the original actors themselves aged visibly enough to portray the same characters, ravaged by time; Boyle joked that the natural vanity of actors would make it a long wait.[5] Having previously expressed doubts about a sequel,[6] Ewan McGregor stated in a 2013 interview that he would return for a sequel, saying, "I'm totally up for it. I'd be so chuffed to be back on set with everybody and I think it would be an extraordinary experience."[7]

In March 2013, Boyle said he wanted to make a sequel that would be loosely based on Porno which he had described as "not a great book in the way that Trainspotting, the original novel, is genuinely a masterpiece". Boyle said that if the sequel were to happen, it would be for a 2016 release.[8]

On 6 May 2014, Welsh said that he had spent a week with Boyle, Andrew Macdonald and the creative team behind Trainspotting to discuss the sequel. Welsh said the meeting explored the story and script ideas. "We're not interested in doing something that will trash the legacy of Trainspotting. ... We want to do something that's very fresh and contemporary."[9] Welsh did not however confirm any kind of timeline for the film, unlike Boyle's comments about wanting the film to come out in 2016.

In November 2014, Welsh said that McGregor and Boyle had resolved differences and had held meetings about the film, saying "I know Danny and Ewan are back in touch with each other again. There are others in the cast who've had a rocky road, but now also reconciled. With the Trainspotting sequel the attention is going to be even more intense this time round because the first was such a great movie—and Danny's such a colossus now. We're all protective of the Trainspotting legacy and we want to make a film that adds to that legacy and doesn't take away from it."[10]

On 7 September 2015, Boyle stated his next film would be a sequel, tentatively titled Trainspotting 2.[11]

In a 27 September 2015 interview, Boyle revealed that a script for the sequel had been written, and that filming would reportedly take place between May and June 2016, in the hopes of releasing the film within that same year to commemorate Trainspotting's 20th anniversary.[12]

While promoting Steve Jobs in November 2015, Boyle reiterated the hopes of beginning principal photography for the sequel in May and June 2016, and said that pre-production had begun in Edinburgh. Boyle also clarified that John Hodge wrote an original screenplay for the sequel, and that the film would not be a strict adaptation of Porno. An earlier script was reportedly written about 10 years prior, but was scrapped so that the original cast would agree to return for a film sequel. The working title for the sequel was T2.[13][14][15]

In November 2015, Robert Carlyle said he would play Begbie. According to Carlyle, he and other members of the Trainspotting cast had already read John Hodge's script, and it would take place 20 years (much like its intended 2016 release) after the original plot. Carlyle praised Hodge's screenplay and said that T2 "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?'"[16]

In early December 2015, it was announced that Sony's TriStar Pictures had acquired worldwide rights to the film and that the original lead cast would return.[17]


Principal photography on the film began on 10 March 2016, in Edinburgh, Scotland, according to director Boyle.[18][19][20] Filming was previously scheduled to take place in May 2016.[20]

During filming in Leith, an industrial cleaning company had to be called in to clear away used needles from real addicts living in an abandoned building where shooting took place.[21]


The official soundtrack was released on 27 January 2017. It features Blondie, The Clash, Wolf Alice, High Contrast, The Prodigy, Queen, Run–D.M.C., Frankie Goes to Hollywood, Underworld, The Rubberbandits and Young Fathers.[22]

T2 Trainspotting (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)
Soundtrack album by
Various artists
Released27 January 2017
1."Lust for Life" (The Prodigy Remix)Iggy Pop5:00
2."Shotgun Mouthwash"High Contrast2:53
3."Silk"Wolf Alice4:05
4."Get Up"Young Fathers3:50
5."Relax"Frankie Goes to Hollywood3:57
6."Eventually But (Spud's Letter to Gail)"Underworld and Ewen Bremner2:24
7."Only God Knows"Young Fathers featuring Leith Congregational Choir3:52
8."Dad's Best Friend"The Rubberbandits3:04
10."Radio Ga Ga"Queen5:43
11."It's Like That"Run–D.M.C. vs. Jason Nevins4:09
12."(White Man) In Hammersmith Palais"The Clash4:00
13."Rain or Shine"Young Fathers3:50
14."Whitest Boy on the Beach"Fat White Family4:53
15."Slow Slippy"Underworld3:50


T2 was released in the United Kingdom on 27 January 2017, followed by rolling worldwide releases from 10 February 2017. The film was given a limited release in the US on 17 March 2017, followed by a wider release on 31 March 2017 in a few other major cities.[23][24] T2 also screened out of competition at the 67th Berlin International Film Festival.[25]

T2 Trainspotting grossed $2.4 million in the United States and Canada, and $39.7 million in other territories (with $21.7 million from the United Kingdom), for a worldwide gross of $42.1 million, against a production budget of $18 million.[2][3]

Critical response[edit]

On review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds an approval rating of 79% based on 216 reviews, with an average rating of 7/10. The website's critical consensus reads, "T2 Trainspotting adds an intoxicating, emotionally resonant postscript to its classic predecessor, even without fully recapturing the original's fresh, subversive thrill."[26] On Metacritic, the film has a weighted average score of 67 out of 100, based on reviews from 42 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews".[27]

Robbie Collin of The Telegraph gives the film 3 out of 5 stars. Collin praises writer Hodge for refinding the voices of the characters, and calls McGregor the dramatic lynchpin of the film. Although the film doesn't match up to the first, Collin concludes "it's worthwhile on its own terms."[28] Ann Hornaday of The Washington Post called the film "respectable exercise in fan service".[29]


Award Date of ceremony Category Recipients Result
Golden Trailer Awards[30] June 6, 2017 Best Trailerbyte for a Feature Film T2 Trainspotting: "The Vault" Nominated
Diversity in Media Awards [31] September 15, 2017 Movie of the Year T2 Trainspotting Nominated
BAFTA Scotland Awards[32] November 5, 2017
Best Feature Film T2 Trainspotting Won
Best Director (Fiction) Danny Boyle Won
Best Actor in Film Ewen Bremner Won
Robert Carlyle Nominated
Ewan McGregor Nominated


In March 2017, Danny Boyle discussed the possibility of a third Trainspotting film, suggesting that it could be a spin-off centered on the character of Begbie, in a story based off on the Irvine Welsh novel The Blade Artist. "I think [Robert Carlyle] would love to do that because it's an interesting twist on the character", Boyle said. "That may be made into a film. You couldn't call it T3 because, although some of the other characters come into it, they're only featured just momentarily. It's a solo story. You could call that a spinoff. [The Blade Artist] is a great read." Carlyle was likewise open to an adaptation of The Blade Artist. "We've been talking about that, I am up for doing it", he said at the T2 premiere in Edinburgh. "So maybe we ain't seen the end of Begbie just yet".[33]

Boyle stated he would be more interesting in directing a true sequel rather than a spin-off, preferring to work with the all of the principal actors. "My affection is toward all four of them", Boyle said. "People regarded the first movie as being Renton's movie, and I never really saw it like that, though he does dominate because of the voiceover. I always saw it as an ensemble movie, so I'm still very much in that mode."[33]

Irvine Welsh has also hinted that a Trainspotting television series is possible.[34]


  1. ^ "T2: Trainspotting (18)". British Board of Film Classification. 17 January 2017. Retrieved 17 January 2017.
  2. ^ a b c "T2 Trainspotting (2017)". The Numbers. Retrieved 28 October 2016.
  3. ^ a b "T2 Trainspotting (2017)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved June 9, 2017.
  4. ^ Jordan Bassett, "T2 Trainspotting: Everything We Know So Far About Danny Boyle's Upcoming Sequel", NME, January 6, 2017
  5. ^ MICHAEL HOWIE; KEVIN SCHOFIELD (2007-04-07). "Junkies reunited as sequel gets go-ahead". Edinburgh: News.scotsman.com. Archived from the original on 2007-05-03. Retrieved 2018-11-24.
  6. ^ Geoghegan, Kev (2009-09-10). "Boyle is 'edging closer' to Porno". BBC News. Retrieved 2011-10-31.
  7. ^ Child, Ben (16 January 2013). "Ewan McGregor ready to work with Danny Boyle on Trainspotting sequel Porno". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 30 October 2017.
  8. ^ Brendan Bettinger (11 March 2013). "Danny Boyle Planning for TRAINSPOTTING Sequel in 2016 with Original Cast: 'You Want to Make Sure You Don't Disappoint People'". Collider.com.
  9. ^ "Irvine Welsh in talks over Trainspotting film sequel". BBC News. Retrieved 5 December 2015.
  10. ^ "Trainspotting sequel looks set to go ahead". The Scotsman. Retrieved 5 December 2015.
  11. ^ DANIEL KREPS (7 September 2015). "Danny Boyle Reveals Next Film Is 'Trainspotting 2'". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 5 December 2015.
  12. ^ Edward Douglas (27 September 2015). "Danny Boyle Hopes to Shoot His Trainspotting Sequel Next Summer". ComingSoon.net. Retrieved 5 December 2015.
  13. ^ Chris Tilly (16 November 2015). "Why Trainspotting 2 Has Taken 20 Years". IGN. Retrieved 5 December 2015.
  14. ^ Damon Wise (9 November 2015). "Danny Boyle talks 'Steve Jobs', casting Fassbender and working on a 'Trainspotting' sequel". Time Out. Retrieved 5 December 2015.
  15. ^ "Danny Boyle nervous about Trainspotting sequel". BBC Newsbeat. 18 October 2015. Retrieved 5 December 2015.
  16. ^ Nick Levine (19 November 2015). "Robert Carlyle On Making 'Trainspotting 2': 'It's One Of The Best Scripts I've Fucking Ever Read'". NME. Retrieved 5 December 2015.
  17. ^ Kit, Borys (4 December 2015). "'Trainspotting 2,' With Original Cast, Lands at TriStar (Exclusive)". hollywoodreporter.com. Retrieved 5 December 2015.
  18. ^ Stolworthy, Jacob (11 March 2016). "Trainspotting 2: filming underway for Danny Boyle's long-awaited sequel". independent.co.uk. Retrieved 13 March 2016.
  19. ^ Munro, Alistair (10 March 2016). "Shooting of Trainspotting 2 movie begins". Edinburgh News. Retrieved 13 March 2016.
  20. ^ a b Russell, Scarlett (11 March 2016). "Trainspotting 2 is on! Danny Boyle starts shooting the sequel in Edinburgh". Digital Spy. Retrieved 13 March 2016.
  21. ^ Duguid, Kevin (16 June 2018). "T2 Trainspotting bosses had to clear away abandoned needles before shooting scenes in a real-life Leith junkie den". The Scottish Sun. Retrieved 18 June 2018.
  22. ^ Daly, Rhian (3 November 2016). "Who is on the 'T2 Trainspotting' soundtrack, and is the album as iconic as the original?". NME. Retrieved 17 July 2017.
  23. ^ Lewis, Rebecca (16 May 2015). "Danny Boyle's Trainspotting sequel finally has a name – and a release date". metro.co.uk. Retrieved 16 May 2016.
  24. ^ McNary, Dave (17 May 2016). "'Trainspotting 2' to Hit U.S. Theaters in February". Variety. Retrieved 19 May 2016.
  25. ^ "Press Releases Competition 67th Berlinale – Competition and Berlinale Special – Danny Boyle, Hong Sangsoo, Thomas Arslan, Volker Schlöndorff, Sabu, Álex de la Iglesia and Josef Hader's Directorial Debut in the Competition Programme". Berlinale. 10 January 2017. Retrieved 10 January 2017.
  26. ^ "T2 Trainspotting (2017)". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango Media. Retrieved March 8, 2018.
  27. ^ "T2 Trainspotting Reviews". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved April 8, 2017.
  28. ^ Robbie Collin (January 19, 2017). "T2 Trainspotting review: Danny Boyle's sequel is more than just a trip down memory lane". The Telegraph.
  29. ^ Ann Hornaday (Mar 23, 2017). "With 'T2 Trainspotting,' a watershed movie gets the sequel it deserves". The Washington Post.
  30. ^ "Best Trailerbyte for a Feature Film GTA18". GTA.
  31. ^ @SickboyT2 (May 8, 2017). "T2 Trainspotting" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  32. ^ "T2 Trainspotting big winner at Scottish Baftas". BBC. November 6, 2017.
  33. ^ a b Ashley Lee (2017-03-19). "Why Danny Boyle Wants a 'Trainspotting' Spinoff Over a Third Film". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 19 June 2018.
  34. ^ Luke Morgan Britton (9 November 2016). "Irvine Welsh teases 'Trainspotting' spin-off TV series". NME. Retrieved 19 June 2018.

External links[edit]