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T2 Trainspotting is a 2017 British crime 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 worldwide throughout February and March 2017.

T2 Trainspotting
T2 – Trainspotting poster.jpg
British release poster
Directed by Danny Boyle
Produced by
Screenplay by John Hodge
Based on Porno and Trainspotting
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)
  • 17 March 2017 (2017-03-17) (United States)
Running time
117 minutes[1]
Country United Kingdom
Language English
Budget $18 million[2][3]
Box office $41.6 million[3]

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 and James Cosmo, and Kelly Macdonald in a cameo. T2 features a new character played by Anjela Nedyalkova. T2 is deliberately self-referential, with film clips, music and echoes from the first film, but is more slow-paced than the first. The screenplay is based on Porno, with characters and elements lifted from the novel Trainspotting.[5]



Twenty years after Mark Renton stole £16,000 in drug money from his three friends, he returns home to Edinburgh after a heart attack and failed marriage. Daniel "Spud" Murphy, has returned to heroin addiction after having lost everything including his girlfriend, Gail, and visitation with his teenage son, Fergus. Simon "Sick Boy" Williamson now abuses cocaine, runs a failing pub, and engages in blackmail schemes with his Bulgarian dominatrix girlfriend Veronika. Francis "Franco" Begbie is serving a 25-year prison sentence, and is denied parole.

Renton stops by his childhood home, where his father tells him about his mother's death. He goes to Spud's apartment just in time to save him from a suicide attempt of suffocation. Spud initially resents the intervention, but Renton offers to help him out of his addiction, telling him he needs to channel his addiction into something else. Renton visits Simon at the pub, where Simon attacks him, and afterward Renton first meets Veronika and pays Simon back his share of the money. And while they once again become best mates, Simon tells Veronica that he is going to string Renton along and make him pay.

Begbie escapes prison and reunites with his wife and college-bound son, who he insists join him in burgling houses. Begbie visits Simon, and Simon tells Begbie he has learned of Renton's whereabouts, but gives him a false account. Simon keeps both Begbie and Renton unaware of his contact with the other.

Renton, Simon, and Veronika become partners in crime, robbing a social club that is fixated on the past and using the proceeds to renovate Simon's pub into a brothel. They fraudulently apply for an EU business-development grant. Veronika becomes impressed with Renton when he gives her an updated version of the "Choose life" monologue, and they begin an affair. One of Simon's blackmail targets reports him to the police and Renton seeks legal advice from his former girlfriend, Diane, now a high-priced solicitor. The proceeds of their crimes are used up in legal fees and Simon's cocaine habit. A menacing encounter with the mob owner of a rival brothel intimidates Renton and Simon into abandoning their brothel scheme, but their grant gets approved for £100,000.

Begbie and Renton accidentally meet in a nightclub, and Renton barely escapes. Begbie visits Spud and discovers the memoirs he has been writing, with Veronika's encouragement. Begbie reads that Renton had left Spud his £4,000 share of the drug deal earnings. When Veronika arrives, Begbie takes her phone, which he uses to trick Mark and Simon into meeting at Simon's pub.

Veronika asks Spud to leave with her, promising him half of the £100,000. He declines, so she decides to give a share to Gail and Fergus instead. He helps her steal the money by forging Renton's and Simon's signatures.

Simon and Renton find each other and no Veronika at the pub, and Spud arrives too late to warn them of Begbie's trap. Begbie knocks Simon down and Renton tries to escape but falls, hanging by the neck from loose wires that are strangling him. As Begbie is finishing off Renton, Simon douses Begbie with pepper spray. Begbie loads a shotgun, but a newly decisive Spud knocks him unconscious.

They leave Begbie trapped in the boot of a car parked outside the prison from which he'd escaped. Veronika returns to Bulgaria with the money. Spud channels his addiction into his writing, and begins mending his relationship with Gail and Fergus. As Gail reads his writings, the implied title of the book is "Trainspotting". Renton and Simon resume their old friendship. Renton moves back into his father’s home and embraces him before going into his bedroom and dancing uninhibited 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
  • 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
  • Elek Kish as Dozo
  • Bradley Welsh as Mr Doyle
  • 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 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."[6]

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.[7]

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."[8] 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."[9]

On 7 September 2015, at the Telluride Film Festival, Boyle stated his next film would be a sequel, tentatively titled Trainspotting 2.[10]

In a 27 September 2015 interview with, 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.[11]

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.[12][13][14]

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?'"[15]

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.[16]


Principal photography on the film began on 10 March 2016, in Edinburgh, Scotland, according to director Boyle.[17][18][19] Filming was previously scheduled to take place in May 2016.[19] Brief sequences were also filmed in Glasgow (where the majority of the first film was actually shot) and in Budapest, Hungary.


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.[20]

T2 Trainspotting (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)
Soundtrack album by Various artists
Released 27 January 2017
Genre Alternative rock, Punk Rock, Post-Punk, Hip hop, New Wave, Synthpop, Techno, Drum and Bass
Label Polydor
No. Title Artist(s) Length
1. "Lust for Life" (The Prodigy Remix) Iggy Pop 5:00
2. "Shotgun Mouthwash" High Contrast 2:53
3. "Silk" Wolf Alice 4:05
4. "Get Up" Young Fathers 3:50
5. "Relax" Frankie Goes to Hollywood 3:57
6. "Eventually But (Spud's Letter to Gail)" Underworld and Ewen Bremner 2:24
7. "Only God Knows" Young Fathers featuring Leith Congregational Choir 3:52
8. "Dad's Best Friend" The Rubberbandits 3:04
9. "Dreaming" Blondie 3:06
10. "Radio Ga Ga" Queen 5:43
11. "It's Like That" Run–D.M.C. vs. Jason Nevins 4:09
12. "(White Man) In Hammersmith Palais" The Clash 4:00
13. "Rain or Shine" Young Fathers 3:50
14. "Whitest Boy on the Beach" Fat White Family 4:53
15. "Slow Slippy" Underworld 3:50


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.[21][22] T2 also screened out of competition at the 67th Berlin International Film Festival.[23]

As of 9 April 2017, T2 Trainspotting has grossed $1.6 million in the United States and Canada, $21.1 million in the United Kingdom and $15.2 million in other territories for a worldwide gross of $37.9 million, against a production budget of $18 million.[3]

Critical responseEdit

The film received positive reviews from critics. On Rotten Tomatoes, the film has an approval rating of 79% based on 188 reviews, with an average rating of 6.9/10. 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."[24] On Metacritic, the film has a score of 67 out of 100, based on 42 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews".[25]

Awards and nominationsEdit

Year Association Category Nominee(s) Result
2017 Diversity in Media Awards Movie of the Year Nominated


  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. ^ a b c "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. ^ Gleiberman, Owen (8 April 2017). "How Danny Boyle Blew the Sequel to 'Trainspotting'". Variety. Retrieved 17 July 2017. 
  6. ^ Howie, Michael; Schofield, Kevin (13 January 2009). "Junkies reunited as sequel gets go-ahead". The Scotsman. Edinburgh. Retrieved 5 December 2015. 
  7. ^ "Danny Boyle Planning for TRAINSPOTTING Sequel in 2016 with Original Cast: 'You Want to Make Sure You Don’t Disappoint People'". 11 March 2013. Retrieved 5 December 2015. 
  8. ^ "Irvine Welsh in talks over Trainspotting film sequel". BBC News. Retrieved 5 December 2015. 
  9. ^ "Trainspotting sequel looks set to go ahead". The Scotsman. Retrieved 5 December 2015. 
  10. ^ "Danny Boyle Reveals Next Film Is 'Trainspotting 2'". Rolling Stone. 7 September 2015. Retrieved 5 December 2015. 
  11. ^ Edward Douglas (27 September 2015). "Danny Boyle Hopes to Shoot His Trainspotting Sequel Next Summer". Retrieved 5 December 2015. 
  12. ^ Chris Tilly (16 November 2015). "Why Trainspotting 2 Has Taken 20 Years". IGN. Retrieved 5 December 2015. 
  13. ^ Damon Wise (9 November 2015). "Danny Boyle talks 'Steve Jobs', casting Fassbender and working on a 'Trainspotting' sequel". Time Out. Retrieved 5 December 2015. 
  14. ^ "Danny Boyle nervous about Trainspotting sequel". BBC Newsbeat. 18 October 2015. Retrieved 5 December 2015. 
  15. ^ 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. 
  16. ^ Kit, Borys (4 December 2015). "'Trainspotting 2,' With Original Cast, Lands at TriStar (Exclusive)". Retrieved 5 December 2015. 
  17. ^ Stolworthy, Jacob (11 March 2016). "Trainspotting 2: filming underway for Danny Boyle's long-awaited sequel". Retrieved 13 March 2016. 
  18. ^ Munro, Alistair (10 March 2016). "Shooting of Trainspotting 2 movie begins". Edinburgh News. Retrieved 13 March 2016. 
  19. ^ 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. 
  20. ^ 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. 
  21. ^ Lewis, Rebecca (16 May 2015). "Danny Boyle’s Trainspotting sequel finally has a name – and a release date". Retrieved 16 May 2016. 
  22. ^ McNary, Dave (17 May 2016). "‘Trainspotting 2’ to Hit U.S. Theaters in February". Variety. Retrieved 19 May 2016. 
  23. ^ "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. 
  24. ^ "T2 Trainspotting (2017)". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved March 10, 2017. 
  25. ^ "T2 Trainspotting reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved April 8, 2017. 

External linksEdit