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Trainspotting, the breakout British hit about drug addiction in Edinburgh that made instant stars of Ewan McGregor, Jonny Lee Miller and Robert Carlyle — and sent director Danny Boyle on an Oscar-winning trajectory — will celebrate its 20th anniversary next year. Should everything go according to plan, 2016 could be the year that the much-discussed sequel hits cinemas, after shooting earlier in the year.
Speaking to The Hollywood Reporter while promoting his latest film Steve Jobs in London, Boyle confirmed that the shoot was planned for “May/June,” but due to Miller and Carlyle’s U.S. TV commitments (they star in CBS’s Elementary and ABC’s Once Upon a Time, respectively), filming of the sequel might be as tight as the first, which was shot in just seven weeks.
“They only get this little window off, so either you wait for the contract to run down, which could be as late as three years, or you kind of try and do it in this window,” he said. “But all four lads [McGregor, Miller, Carlyle and Ewen Bremner] are back in.”
The plan is then to release the film as early as next year.
While the original was made on a shoestring budget of just $2 million, the sequel is set to cost much more, but Boyle says it’s low enough to keep away any meddling hands.
“We’re doing it for less than $20 million, and that’ll give us control of the film so we can make the film we want to make,” he said. “That’s as much as you can get without being answerable to anybody. You can sort of get on with it without much interference. Although we could have raised a lot more money for this, we didn’t, so we’re trying to keep some sense like we kept the original.”
Boyle also confirmed that he had a “big business meeting” with U.K. broadcaster Channel 4’s production arm Film4 — who helped produce Trainspotting — lined up, and hoped they would be on board.
Staying true to the original has been one of the main concerns for the sequel, talk of which has been raging for years. McGregor initially said he wasn’t interested (he famously fell out with Boyle for casting Leonardo DiCaprio in The Beach, although the two have since made up) and Boyle himself admitted there were reservations among the cast.
“The actors were understandably worried about its reputation and not wanting to let people down or to just be cashing in,” he said. “So actually the script, which John [Hodge] has written, has been put under a very fierce spotlight by everyone, and it’s a good one.”
While the sequel will borrow elements from writer Irvine Welsh’s Trainspotting follow-up Porno, set 10 years after the original, Boyle said Hodge’s script for the film is “it’s own thing” and not like the book.
“Everyone’s attitude is that it’ll be an honorable addition and an interesting addition to the original film. We’re very positive that we believe it can happen and it’s coming true.”
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