Ewan McGregor Talks 'Trainspotting' Sequel and James Bond
The actor-turned-filmmaker also talks about the eye-opening experience of working behind the camera in his directorial debut, 'American Pastoral.'
Trainspotting fans will be happy to know that after a 20-year wait, it appears highly likely that a sequel is finally going to happen.
The Hollywood Reporter caught up with Ewan McGregor at the recent Los Cabos Film Festival and here's what he had to say about Danny Boyle's highly anticipated follow-up to the Oscar-nominated cult hit. "It's almost 100 percent sure, it depends mostly on scheduling," said McGregor, who plays the beloved junkie Renton in Trainspotting. "I think we all want to do it."
McGregor famously fell out with Boyle after the director cast Leonardo DiCaprio for the lead in The Beach, a part originally intended for McGregor. But the two have patched up their differences.
"I'd like more than anything to be working with Danny again and to be making a sequel to such an important film," McGregor said.
McGregor declined to reveal details about the script, however, it's loosely based on Irvine Welsh's Porno, the literary follow-up that finds the same characters involved in the porn film business about 10 years later.
Both Boyle and McGregor saw their careers take off after the 1996 release of Trainspotting. Boyle would later win a best-directing Oscar for Slumdog Millionaire, while McGregor went on to work with Hollywood's top directors, including Roman Polanski (The Ghost Writer), Ridley Scott (Black Hawk Down) and George Lucas (as Obi-Wan Kenobi in the Star Wars prequels).
Following the recent release of the latest Bond film Spectre, McGregor's name comes up regularly on a shortlist of actors who could possibly replace Daniel Craig, should Craig decide to step down as 007. Earlier in his career, McGregor turned down the role because he didn't want to be typecast. But he would jump at the opportunity today.
"I think it would be quite cool to play James Bond," he said. "At this stage in my career (being typecast) is not really an issue anymore. Early on, when you start off you don't want your horizons to be narrow, but I think people know I have some kind of width in my work, so I'm really not worried about that anymore."
Bond producer Michael G. Wilson said he expects Craig to return for a fifth appearance in the franchise, but Craig has hinted that he may want to move on.
McGregor currently is editing his directorial debut, American Pastoral, based on Philip Roth's Pulitzer Prize-winning novel of the same name. McGregor directs and stars in the film alongside Jennifer Connelly and Dakota Fanning.
The story centers on an all-American couple whose daughter becomes radicalized and involved in a terrorist act during the Vietnam anti-war movement.
McGregor said "the parallels are all over the place," in reference to modern-day terror attacks and protest movements.
"While we were prepping, I saw images (in Ferguson, Missouri) of people with their fists in the air as tanks rolled by, and at that time I was in my office looking at (similar) images in the 1960s."
The experience behind the camera has forever changed McGregor's cinematic vision.
"I recognized a lot of first-time director traits that I didn't like before and I recognized them in myself, like needing to look like you know what you're doing all the time, when the best answer sometimes is 'I don't know.'"
McGregor said he learned a lot working with director of photography Martin Luhe (The American).
"I learned how to think from the camera's point of view because for 22 years I've been thinking from the actor's point of view," he said.