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Tri-Star has chosen life, chosen a job … and has chosen Trainspotting 2.
Moving fast to a preemptive deal, the Sony label has landed the package, worldwide rights included, to the sequel of the seminal 1996 film with Danny Boyle back in the director’s chair.
Also returning to the film project are the original principal cast, including Ewan McGregor, Jonny Lee Miller, Ewen Bremner and Robert Carlyle.
John Hodge, who wrote the script for the original adaptation, is also back as writer.
Sony Pictures co-chair Tom Rothman leaned on his longstanding relationship with Boyle to make the deal happen. Rothman has been a supporter of the filmmaker since 1997’s A Life Less Ordinary, when the former was an executive at Fox. More importantly, Rothman was the CEO of Fox Searchlight, running the division he founded when it released Boyle’s movies, ranging from 28 Days Later (2002) to Slumdog Millionaire (2008) to 127 Hours (2010).
The original Trainspotting adapted the 1993 novel by Irvine Welsh and told of a group of lower-income heroin users in Edinburgh drifting through their lives.
McGregor was the movie’s narrator and lead, surrounded by Sick Boy (Miller), a drug dealer; Begbie (Carlyle), a violent sociopath; and Spud (Bremner), a dim but genial friend.
Considered among the best British films ever made, it launched McGregor’s career and put Boyle on the world stage.
The filmmaker has talked of making a sequel for several years, ever since Welsh wrote a follow-up book titled Porno (which will not be the title of the sequel, incidentally). Hodge wrote an original script for the project, which takes a look at the Welsh-created characters 20 years after the events of the first pic.
During the recent press tour for Steve Jobs, Boyle talked of how his intent was to shoot Trainspotting 2 in 2016 and now with TriStar backing him, that plan is looking like a reality. The aim is to shoot the movie in the spring for a 2017 release.
Sources say that Rothman and TriStar president Hannah Minghella read the script Thursday night and by Friday were in dealmaking mode.
“Like almost everyone my age, I had the ‘Choose Life’ poster on my university dorm-room wall,” said Minghella, who calls Trainspotting a seminal movie for her. “I have wanted to work with Danny ever since, so the opportunity to collaborate on the sequel is truly a dream come true. It perfectly represents the filmmaker-driven movies I am committed to making at TriStar.”
Said Boyle: “It’s been 20 years since we met these characters and John Hodge’s screenplay brilliantly explores what’s happened to them — and to us — in the intervening years. We are grateful to Tom and Hannah for their support and we can’t wait to get going.”’
Producing the new movie will be Andrew Macdonald, Boyle, Christian Colson and Bernie Bellew through Figment Films, Decibel Films and Cloud Eight Films. Film4 is also involved.
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