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)
  • 17 March 2017 (2017-03-17) (United States)
Running time
117 minutes[1]
Country United Kingdom
Language English
Budget $18 million[2]
Box office $33.2 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, Mark Renton returns to Edinburgh after escaping to Amsterdam following events at the end of the first film. Daniel "Spud" Murphy continues to struggle with his heroin addiction which causes him to lose his job as well as his long time partner Gail and son Fergus. Simon "Sick Boy" Williamson, now a cocaine addict, runs the Port Sunshine Pub he inherited from his aunt while sidelining blackmailing activities with his Bulgarian girlfriend, Veronika. Francis "Franco" Begbie is serving a 25-year prison sentence and is denied parole due to his violent temper. After stopping by his childhood home where his father tells him of his mother's death while he was away, Mark goes to visit Spud at his flat, finding him trying to commit suicide. Mark 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.

Mark visits Simon at the pub intending to apologize and pay back what he stole from Simon. Though initially, Simon greets Mark warmly, the meeting soon develops into a fight, although they both ultimately make amends. Meanwhile, Begbie manages to escape from prison, 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. To help Spud beat his heroin addiction, Mark takes Spud running up Arthur's Seat and tries to convince Spud to end his addiction.

Mark decides to stay in Edinburgh and visits Simon where he explains that he's getting divorced and is losing his job, saying he wants to stay in Scotland. Together, they travel to Glasgow and enter a unionist pub, where they pick the pockets of the guests there, stealing their bank cards. However, the landlord refuses to let them leave without singing a song, and Mark and Simon make up a song featuring the Battle Of The Boyne. Simon, Mark, and Veronika become partners in crime, using the money from their deeds to convert the Port Sunshine into a brothel. As part of that effort, they petition the European Union for a loan of 100,000 pounds which they receive. However, friction arises between the trio, as Simon spends the money on cocaine while still being angry and mistrustful of Mark, while Veronika, finding Mark more interesting and stable, begins an affair with him. One of Simon's blackmailing victims reports him to the police and he is arrested. In order to help him, they hire Mark's ex-girlfriend, Diane Coulston, who is now a solicitor. Mark and Simon also get a visit from the owner of a rival brothel who angrily intimidates the two into ending their brothel plans.

While on the run, Begbie resumes a life of crime by burgling houses. He brings along his son Frank Jr who he wants to mold in his image. However, his son is not interested in a life of crime and wants to go to University to study hotel management instead, enraging Begbie. Begbie sells his stolen goods to his old friend Mikey Forrester, now a successful businessman. While in the toilets of a nightclub, Begbie and Renton accidentally meet, as Begbie immediately attacks Renton. Renton manages to escape from Begbie.

Begbie then visits Spud to find out where Mark is hiding and discovers that Spud, with the encouragement of Veronika, has been writing a memoir of events from the first film. Veronika coincidentally visits Spud at the same time as Begbie. Cornering both of them, Begbie allows Veronika to leave in exchange for her mobile phone. Using her phone, Begbie deceives both Simon and Mark, texting both to meet at the Port Sunshine Pub in order to get his revenge. Meanwhile, Veronika tries to convince Spud to go away with her, promising him half of the money they received from the EU loan and all of their schemes, but Spud refuses, saying he would only spend it on drugs, and instead bequeaths it to Gail and Furgus. Veronika then convinces Spud to use his forgery skills to move the money to her bank account. Begbie visits his family one last time before going to the pub. Simon and Mark meet at the pub 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. Mark escapes into the roof space, but 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 by attacking Begbie, who then pulls out a shotgun and nearly shoots Mark and Simon before Spud knocks him unconscious with a toilet bowl.

In the epilogue, Mark, Simon and Spud send Begbie back to prison locked in a car boot. Veronika returns to Bulgaria with the money she took from Mark and Simon, where she reunites with her son. Spud begins a new career as a writer and begins mending his relationship with Gail and Fergus. 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
  • 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 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, followed by rolling worldwide releases from 10 February 2017. The film was given a limited release in the USA on 17 March 2017, followed by a wider release on 31 March 2017.[19][20]

T2 screened 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., Frankie Goes to Hollywood, Underworld, The Rubberbandits and Young Fathers.[22]


Critical responseEdit

On Rotten Tomatoes, the film has an approval rating of 77%, based on 151 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."[23] On Metacritic, the film has a score of 65 out of 100, based on 36 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 28, 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 March 10, 2017. 
  24. ^ "T2 Trainspotting reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved March 16, 2017. 

External linksEdit