It’s hard to forget such an iconic film as Trainspotting that set a distinct tone for British pictures of the 1990’s. During an era where Pulp Fiction captivated the decade with Quentin Tarantino, director Danny Boyle certainly stood out as a top director to watch with this being his earliest masterpiece.
Based on the novel by Irvine Welsh, it’s a milestone of filmmaking on the subject of heroin junkies and the UK punk aspect. The freaky scene of a dead baby crawling around a ceiling in a hallucinatory vision is still hauntingly etched in my mind.
Since Trainspotting, Boyle has become a notable director with a packed filmography. He dabbled in science fiction with the cult classic Sunshine, received an Oscar win for directing Slumdog Millionaire and most recently did an exceptional job directing Steve Jobs.
Now he is returning to his big hit that put him on the map. Though it may not carry the rather blunt title of Irvine Welsh’s sequel novel, Porno, the original cast is returning for this production. Considering it’s been twenty years since Trainspotting was released, the actors certainly have aged quite a bit.
In fact, Boyle is counting on them appearing much older to continue the story. But what have these actors been up to this whole time? Take a look back at the legacy of Trainspotting’s cast.
The young protagonist of Trainspotting was just starting out in the 1990’s with notable romantic roles in A Life Less Ordinary and Emma. But he’s perhaps better known by most movie-goers as the young Obi Wan Kenobi of the Star Wars prequels (1999-2005). Since then, McGregor has had a steady career of consistent roles in everything from action (Black Hawk Down) to musicals (Moulin Rouge) to animation (Robots). He’s also been very active on the theatre scene, starring in productions of Guys and Dolls and Othello. He was last seen in this year’s Jane Got a Gun and is also slated to appear in 2017’s Beauty and the Beast.
Bremner has had a decent amount of work as a supporting actor in such blockbusters as Black Hawk Down and Pearl Harbor, both of which he starred alongside Ewan McGregor. Most of his work has been in television appearing as King James in Elizabeth I and Harold from The Lost Room. He is currently set to appear in 2017’s Wonder Woman.
Jonny Lee Miller
Miller already had a bit of a name for himself before when Trainspotting with 1995’s Hackers. Suggested for his role in Trainspotting by McGregor, Jonny’s Scottish accent was so convincing that it led to many believing he was in fact Scottish. His presence wasn’t that large on the movie scene, though he was at one point considered for the role of James Bond in 2006’s Casino Royale. He has, however, kept very busy with TV roles. Miller guest-starred on many British programs before finally landing his most notable role as Sherlock Holmes on Elementary.
Carlyle may not have as full of a filmography as McGregor, but he has certainly stood out as recognizable talent in the years since Trainspotting. He won multiple awards for his role in 1997’s The Full Monty. He had the chance to play a James Bond villain in 1999’s The World is Not Enough. But fans of TV’s Once Upon a Time will know him best as the sinister Mr. Gold/Rumpelstiltskin, cackling and plotting against storybook characters. Stargate fans will also recognize him as the lead on the short-lived Stargate Universe. His latest role was the titular lead in 2015’s The Legend of Barney Thomson, a dark comedy that he additionally directed.
McKidd certainly has had some rather interesting roles since Trainspotting. His presence in TV certainly took off, appearing as Father Deegan on Father Ted and Lucius Vorenus on Rome. Gamers will most likely know him better as the voice of John MacTavish from the Call of Duty: Modern Warfare video game franchise. Kids may recognize him in the role of Poseidon from Percy Jackson & The Olympians: The Lightning Thief. He has additionally done voice work for the animated movie Brave as Lord MacGuffin and the more adult animated video Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox as Thomas Wayne.
As you can see, most of the cast has risen in their talents so that a Trainspotting sequel is sure to have more marquee value than its predecessor. There’s already a lot of enthusiasm from Boyle, the cast and even the original author. In particular, Robert Carlyle noted that the script he read was quite emotional. If the positive energy generated by all involved is anything to go by, we could be looking at a daring return to form for the already legendary director.
Trainspotting 2 is set to film sometime this year with a tentative release date of 2017.