T2 Trainspotting

British black comedy crime drama film
T2 Trainspotting
T2 – Trainspotting poster.jpg
British release poster
Directed by Danny Boyle
Produced by
Screenplay by John Hodge
Based on Trainspotting and Porno
by Irvine Welsh
Cinematography Anthony Dod Mantle
Edited by Jon Harris
Distributed by TriStar Pictures
Release date
  • 22 January 2017 (2017-01-22) (Edinburgh)
  • 27 January 2017 (2017-01-27) (United Kingdom)
Running time
117 minutes[1]
Country United Kingdom
Language English
Budget $18 million[2]
Box office $20.4 million[3]

T2 Trainspotting is a 2017 British black comedy drama film, set in and around Edinburgh, Scotland. The film is 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 will be released worldwide throughout February and March 2017.

A sequel to Boyle's 1996 film, Trainspotting, T2 stars the original ensemble cast, including Ewan McGregor, Ewen Bremner, Jonny Lee Miller, Robert Carlyle, and Kelly Macdonald. T2 is deliberately self-referential, with film-clips, music and echoes from the first film. The screenplay is based on Porno, with characters and elements lifted from the novel Trainspotting.



After twenty years of estrangement, Mark Renton returns home to Edinburgh from Amsterdam, where he lives with his wife. His father lives alone since the death of Mark's mother. Daniel "Spud" Murphy struggles with his heroin addiction and its legacy, which impacts on his long-suffering partner Gail and their son Fergus. Simon "Sick Boy" Williamson continues to live a life of crime and dodgy-dealing, working as landlord of a pub in Leith called Port Sunshine bequeathed to him by his aunt, while pursuing a sideline in blackmail and growing cannabis plants in the basement. Francis "Franco" Begbie is serving a 25-year prison sentence and has just been denied parole due to his violent temper. After visiting his father and stopping by his old bedroom, Mark goes to visit Spud at his flat, finding him in a desperate condition; Spud is trying to commit suicide by taping a plastic bag around his head in an attempt at self-asphyxiation. Mark breaks the door down and saves Spud, who initially does not welcome the intervention, but Mark wants to help him out of his heroin addiction and to reconcile with Simon, who remains angry with Mark for betraying them (though according to Mark, Simon would have done the same).

Mark visits Simon at Port Sunshine. Though initially Simon greets Mark warmly, inquiring about his life in Amsterdam, the meeting soon develops into a full-scale fight, with both using weapons such as beer glasses and pool cues on the other. Mark has a vision of a girl holding his head while lying unconscious on the pool table, and wakes up to find Simon taking cocaine. Mark gives Simon a package containing £4000, Simon's share of the drug deal proceeds that Mark stole 20 years earlier. Begbie purposefully hospitalises himself and subsequently escapes, taking advantage of the low security. He briefly reunites with his wife and son, and visits Simon. Simon feigns friendship with Mark as his ulterior motive, pretending to collaborate with Begbie, who is still out for revenge against Mark. Mark takes Spud running up Arthur's Seat, and while looking over Edinburgh explains to Spud that he is an addict, but that he just needs to swap his drug addiction for something else, such as exercise.

Mark decides to stay in Edinburgh and visits Simon at his flat in Leith, where he explains that while he is married, the marriage is ending and Mark would only be returning to Amsterdam to move his stuff out of the flat he shares with his wife, who owns it. Mark also explains that three months prior, he suffered a heart condition which caused him to undergo an operation to insert a stent. Simon, Mark and Simon's 'partner' Veronika travel to Glasgow, and enter a packed Orange Lodge, where they pick the pockets of the assembled clientele, stealing every bank card they find. However, the landlord refuses to let them leave without singing a song, and Mark and Simon (singing and playing piano respectively), make up a song featuring the Battle Of The Boyne in 1690, every verse ending with the line, "there were no more Catholics left!". The three head back to Edinburgh, and assuming that the year of the battle will be the PIN of each of the bank cards, steal money from every account they can access. Simon and Mark also make a presentation at the Scottish Parliament building in an effort to secure European development funds to establish a leisure club upstairs at Simon's pub, to be run by the mystery girl from Mark's pool-table vision, who turns out to be Simon's "girlfriend", Veronika, who was also involved in Sick Boy's blackmailing schemes.

While on the run, Begbie begins burgling houses, taking along his son Frank Jr, who he sees as a chip off the old block, while Frank Jr's aspirations lie in attending college. Begbie sells his stolen goods to his old friend Mikey Forrester, who is now a successful "businessman". While in Forrester's warehouse, Begbie opens a fridge to find bags containing thousands of Viagra tablets, and boxes of the same. He takes some of the tablets and goes to a nightclub. While in the toilets, Begbie and Renton accidentally meet but Renton escapes, by jumping on the roof of a car leaving a parking garage and riding it into the street, where he falls off and runs off.

Begbie then visits Spud to find out where Mark is hiding, and discovers that Spud (who is working for Simon, renovating the top floor of Port Sunshine which is to be used as Veronika's "leisure club") is writing down pages of reminiscences of events from years prior featuring Mark, Simon and the others. Veronika coincidentally visits Spud at the same time. Using Veronika’s mobile phone, Begbie deceives both Simon and Mark, texting both independently and requesting they meet at Simon's pub. Veronika and Spud, using Spud’s forgery skills which he discovered whilst in jail, move the funding money to Veronika’s bank account. Veronika asks Spud to go away with her. Spud refuses. Veronika offers Spud half of the money, and Spud refuses this, saying that he is a junkie and would only spend it on drugs, and instead bequeaths it to Gail and Fergus. Simon and Mark meet at the specified time just as Spud arrives to warn them of Begbie’s trap. Before they can escape, Begbie arrives and a fight breaks out, knocking Simon unconscious and chasing Mark upstairs, where he reveals that he once murdered a man whilst thinking about Mark and his betrayal 20 years earlier, explaining the 20-year prison sentence. Mark escapes into the roof space, Begbie follows and pushes him off, resulting in Mark getting his neck caught in cables, and he begins choking to death as Begbie watches. Simon and Spud both save Mark after attacking Begbie, who then pulls out a shotgun and prepares to shoot Mark and Simon, but Spud knocks him unconscious with a toilet bowl.

Mark, Simon and Spud, finally fed up with Begbie, deposit him back to the doors of the prison in a car boot. Veronika keeps the money she stole off Simon and Mark, returning to Bulgaria to reunite with her son. Spud begins a new career as a writer, and his writings form the basis of a book. Mark reconciles his friendship with Simon and moves back into his parent’s home, embracing his father before going into his bedroom and playing "Lust for Life" on his record player.


  • 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
  • Kevin McKidd as Tommy MacKenzie
    • Elijah Wolf as 9 year-old Tommy
    • Michael Shaw as 20 year-old Tommy
  • Kyle Fitzpatrick as Fergus
    • Charlie Hardie as 9 year-old Fergus
  • Kelly Macdonald as Diane Coulston
  • Anjela Nedyalkova as Veronika Kovach
  • Pauline Lynch as Lizzy
  • James Cosmo as Mr Renton
  • Eileen Nicholas as Mrs Renton
  • Shirley Henderson as Gail Houston
  • Irvine Welsh as Mikey Forrester
  • Simon Weir as Jailhoose
  • Steven Robertson as Stoddart
  • Scot Greenan as Frank Jr.


In January 2009, Danny Boyle had 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. Ewan McGregor stated in an 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."[5]

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.[6]

On 6 May 2014, during a BBC Radio interview with Richard Bacon, Welsh confirmed that he had spent a week with Boyle, Andrew Macdonald and the creative team behind Trainspotting to discuss the sequel. Welsh stated that the meeting was in order to "explore 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."[7] 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 a newspaper interview with The Scotsman on 17 November 2014, Welsh revealed that McGregor and Boyle had resolved their 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."[8]

On 7 September 2015, at the Telluride Film Festival, Boyle stated his next film would be a sequel, tentatively titled Trainspotting 2.[9]

In a 27 September 2015 interview with ComingSoon.net, 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.[10]

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.[11][12][13]

In a November 2015 phone interview with NME, Robert Carlyle confirmed he would be returning for the sequel to 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. Expecting to start filming in the middle of 2016, Carlyle praised Hodge's screenplay and hinted 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?'"[14]

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 be returning.[15]


Principal photography on the film began on 10 March 2016, in Edinburgh, Scotland, according to director Boyle.[16][17][18] Filming was previously scheduled to take place in May 2016.[18]


T2 was released in the United Kingdom on 27 January 2017, and will be followed by a worldwide release on 10 February 2017.[19][20] It has been selected to screen out of competition at the 67th Berlin International Film Festival.[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., Underworld, The Rubberbandits and Young Fathers.[22]


Critical responseEdit

On Rotten Tomatoes the film has an approval rating of 77% based on 60 reviews with an average rating of 6.8/10. The site's consensus reads, "T2 Trainspotting adds an intoxicating, emotionally resonant postscript to its classic predecessor, even without fully recapturing the original's fresh, subversive thrill."[23] On Metacritic, the film has a score of 62 out of 100, based on 13 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews".[24]


  1. ^ "T2: Trainspotting (18)". British Board of Film Classification. 17 January 2017. Retrieved 17 January 2017. 
  2. ^ "T2 Trainspotting (2017) - Financial Information". The Numbers. Retrieved 28 October 2016. 
  3. ^ "T2 Trainspotting (2017)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved February 19, 2017. 
  4. ^ Jordan Bassett, "T2 Trainspotting: Everything We Know So Far About Danny Boyle’s Upcoming Sequel", NME, January 6, 2017
  5. ^ Howie, Michael; Schofield, Kevin (13 January 2009). "Junkies reunited as sequel gets go-ahead". The Scotsman. Edinburgh. Retrieved 5 December 2015. 
  6. ^ "Danny Boyle Planning for TRAINSPOTTING Sequel in 2016 with Original Cast: 'You Want to Make Sure You Don't Disappoint People'". Collider.com. 11 March 2013. Retrieved 5 December 2015. 
  7. ^ "Irvine Welsh in talks over Trainspotting film sequel". BBC News. Retrieved 5 December 2015. 
  8. ^ "Trainspotting sequel looks set to go ahead". The Scotsman. Retrieved 5 December 2015. 
  9. ^ "Danny Boyle Reveals Next Film Is 'Trainspotting 2'". Rolling Stone. 7 September 2015. Retrieved 5 December 2015. 
  10. ^ Edward Douglas (27 September 2015). "Danny Boyle Hopes to Shoot His Trainspotting Sequel Next Summer". ComingSoon.net. Retrieved 5 December 2015. 
  11. ^ Chris Tilly (16 November 2015). "Why Trainspotting 2 Has Taken 20 Years". IGN. Retrieved 5 December 2015. 
  12. ^ Damon Wise (9 November 2015). "Danny Boyle talks 'Steve Jobs', casting Fassbender and working on a 'Trainspotting' sequel". Time Out. Retrieved 5 December 2015. 
  13. ^ "Danny Boyle nervous about Trainspotting sequel". BBC Newsbeat. 18 October 2015. Retrieved 5 December 2015. 
  14. ^ 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. 
  15. ^ Kit, Borys (4 December 2015). "'Trainspotting 2,' With Original Cast, Lands at TriStar (Exclusive)". hollywoodreporter.com. Retrieved 5 December 2015. 
  16. ^ Stolworthy, Jacob (11 March 2016). "Trainspotting 2: filming underway for Danny Boyle's long-awaited sequel". independent.co.uk. Retrieved 13 March 2016. 
  17. ^ Munro, Alistair (10 March 2016). "Shooting of Trainspotting 2 movie begins". Edinburgh News. Retrieved 13 March 2016. 
  18. ^ 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. 
  19. ^ 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. 
  20. ^ McNary, Dave (17 May 2016). "'Trainspotting 2' to Hit U.S. Theaters in February". Variety. Retrieved 19 May 2016. 
  21. ^ "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. 
  22. ^ ‘Trainspotting 2’ film soundtrack officially revealed, nme.com, 13 January 2017
  23. ^ "T2 Trainspotting (2017)". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved February 15, 2017. 
  24. ^ "T2 Trainspotting reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved January 23, 2017. 

External linksEdit