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Writer John Hodge talks Trainspotting 2 and director Danny Boyle

03.31.2016

It's been a long time coming, but the sequel to TRAINSPOTTING is almost in the can! The movie has been filming in Scotland for a few weeks now, and while plot points haven't been given away just yet, writer John Hodge did speak with Creative Screenwriting about working with Danny Boyle and returning to the world of TRAINSPOTTING (thanks to Corey Bates for the head's up)!

John Hodge on working with directors:

I’ve worked with several directors other than Danny – some has been uncredited material – and it’s always interesting. I have had general experience with different working methods. Stephen Frears doesn’t get involved very much in the scripting process, and it was really left to me and the producers.

Other directors are far more involved. Danny, who I’m working with now on the Trainspotting sequel, is just very encouraging. He responds very quickly and very comprehensively to whatever I send to him. Unless he feels very strongly about something, he doesn’t say “I think you need to do this or you need to do that.” It’s the same when he’s directing actors. He’s much more interested in getting out of them what they can offer.

Regarding TRAINSPOTTING 2:

On a personal level, it’s been a nice experience so far. For example, we did a read through with some of the actors and I hadn’t seen many of them in years. It’s really nice to become reacquainted because it has been such a long time. They’re such great actors, really. We got lucky then and stumbled on a fantastic cast.

It’s very daunting because I hadn’t watched Trainspotting for twenty years and I watched it and thought, “Oh, gosh, I thought that was quite good.” It can never really be the same phenomenon again, but just in a narrative sense and a character sense it’s an awkward film to think of what happens next because they’re at a different stage in life now. It’s not just more of the same. They have to have moved on, but yet still be recognizably the characters that they were.

I don’t want to give away what happens [Laughs], but it’s just a question of “What are these guys doing now?” and trying to present it in an interesting way. That’s the challenge. The film is about men in their forties and the sad fact is that men in their forties are not that interesting on screen [Laughs]. The film has to reach for different things other than chaos and self-destruction, so we’ll see.

Ewan McGregor seemed to be the one who was hesitant to return to the role of Mark Renton, so I'm hoping that his reprisal bodes well for the story. FORCE AWAKENS aside, long overdue sequels don't have the best of track records. It's a reasonable expectation not to assume lightning will strike twice, but they better have crafted one hell of a story to contain these classic characters!

The UNTITLED TRAINSPOTTING SEQUEL will most likely hit theaters in 2017.

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