Following his success with the Olympics opening ceremony, Danny Boyle is taking on another massive challenge.
The Oscar-winning writer-director is attempting to get the cast of his
1996 cult hit Trainspotting together for a sequel to coincide with the
20th anniversary of its release.
He is already working on a screenplay with his longtime collaborator
John Hodge, which will feature all the original characters, now in their
Trainspotting, a trip through the darkest recesses of
Edinburgh low-life, focused on Mark Renton (Ewan McGregor) and his attempt to give up
his heroin habit and his relationship with
family and friends: Sean Connery wannabe Sick Boy (Jonny Lee Miller) dimbulb Spud (Ewen Bremner), psycho
Begbie (Robert Carlyle) 14-year-old girlfriend Diane (Kelly Macdonald) and clean-cut athlete Tommy (Kevin McKidd).
"It's very unusual in many peoples' careers, certainly in mine, for a
film to be remembered not just for the actors but for the characters'
names as well," he told me when we talked at the Four Seasons Hotel in
Beverly Hills. "People remember Begbie the villain and Renton and Sick
Boy and Spud which is amazing because the film's 17 years old now.
"I often used to joke that when a generation had passed and the actors
were sufficiently aged we would make another film with the same actors
playing the same characters. So I think now, with the 20th anniversary
approaching, would be a very good time to do it.
"It justifies a sequel because we have something cogent to work on,
which is the passage of time and what it's done to these people, who in
their early 20s were hedonists and prepared to take enormous risks with
what they put into their bodies and how they behaved. Of course, when
you get into your forties, it's not so easy and there are not quite as
many guarantees that you'll get away with it."
And, oh yes. "There will be a toilet scene," he said, referring to
the memorably gruesome incident in which Renton attempts to retrieve his
drugs stash. "There's got to be."
In the meantime 56-year-old
Boyle is busy promoting his latest film, Trance, a twisty, London-set
thriller in which James McAvoy plays an art thief who loses his memory
and forgets where he has hidden the painting he has stolen, while
Rosario Dawson is a hypnotist trying to help him remember.
"You can't make a film like Trance and accept a knighthood," laughed
Boyle, who turned down the offer to become Sir Danny after the Olympics.
"The reward was in doing it and I didn't want anything else and I
didn't want to be separated from all the other people who were involved
"There's quite a noble tradition of people who have turned down
knighthoods----David Bowie and Alan Bennett I believe are two, and I'm
proud to stand beside them. In the end it's down to the individual and
what you feel comfortable with and how you want to live your life."