Revered author Irvine Welsh is thrilled after his iconic novel Trainspotting was named Scotland's favourite book of the past 50 years. The gritty tome, about heroin addicts living in Edinburgh, was released to huge acclaim in 1993, and was transformed into a big screen hit three years later (96) starring Ewan McGregor and Robert Carlyle.
The book has now topped a list of Scotland's best tales of the last half a century.
Welsh says, "I don't know if Trainspotting is the best Scottish book - I'm far from convinced it's my own best book.
"But I'm obviously flattered just to be on that list of great novels with those amazing writers, especially when I consider some of the brilliant books and my personal favourites that never made it onto this list."
Voters in the Book Week Scotland poll put Lanark by Alasdair Gray in second place, while Ian Rankin took the third with Black & Blue. Iain Banks, who died of cancer earlier this year (13), was at number four with The Bridge, followed by One Fine Day in The Middle of the Night by Christopher Brookmyre.
British director Antonia Bird has died at the age of 54. She passed away on Thursday (24Oct13). No further details have been released.
Announcing her death on Twitter.com, her longtime collaborator and friend Robert Carlyle writes, "Such a sad day today.. RIP Antonia Bird. Farewell my beautiful friend xxx."
Bird started off her career directing British TV shows such as Casualty and EastEnders. She went on to win a British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) Award for her drama Safe, before moving into films with the release of controversial faith movie Priest in 1994.
Marking the start of her longrunning professional relationship with Carlyle, the pair went on to work together on 1997's Face and 1999 horror movie Ravenous.
She also set up production company Four Way Pictures with The Full Monty star, author Irvine Welsh and film critic Mark Cousins.
Before her death, Bird had been working on new drama Cross My Mind and had directed episodes of gritty BBC series The Village.
'Steven Spielberg' is one of those names that has such cachet that we sit up and take notice any time he does, well, anything. Although Spielberg's last project was 2008's disappointing Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, his latest, War Horse, looks to hearken back to the tone of his 1987 Empire of the Sun with its war-torn setting and human drama.
War Horse - the story of the friendship between a boy (Joey) and his horse, who is sold to the British army during the First World War (the horse, not the boy) - boasts an impressive international cast, with Jeremy Irvine (formerly of the National Youth Theatre) playing the young horse owner, Emily Watson (Gosford Park, Cold Souls) playing his mother, and Peter Mullan (Trainspotting, Children of Men) his father. Niels Arestrup (The Diving Bell and the Butterfly) plays the grandfather of a young French girl (Celine Buckens) who takes Joey in.
Other renowned members of the cast include Tom Hiddleston (to play Loki in Thor and the upcoming Avengers movie), Rainer Bock (Inglorious Basterds), Patrick Kennedy (Atonement), and Stephen Graham (Baby Face Nelson in Public Enemies and Al Capone in the upcoming HBO series Boardwalk Empire). Rounding out the ensemble are Nicolas Bro, Leonard Carow, Robert Emms, and David Kross.
War Horse is being adapted by Lee Hall, the writer behind Billy Elliot, and Richard Curtis from the novel by Michael Morpurgo. Expect War Horse to hit theaters August 10, 2011.
Source: Empire Online
The Slumdog Millionaire director has long been rumoured to be working on taking Porno to the big screen - 13 years after Trainspotting made the cast household names.
Boyle recently insisted he would only start shooting the sequel once the actors started to look older - stating Ewan McGregor, Ewen Bremner and Jonny Lee Miller were all too well-preserved.
But The Full Monty star Carlyle, who played psychopath Begbie, believes Boyle is "edging closer" to the project after sweeping this year's (09) Oscars - and has even offered to work on it for free.
He says, "For me personally, I would jump through hoops of fire backwards for Danny Boyle. I would do Porno tomorrow for nothing.
"Begbie was probably the only character I would ever want to revisit because I do believe that there's an awful lot more mileage there.
"I think there is lots more entertainment to be had from that group of people so I would be up for it, and I know Danny seems to be edging more towards it. After his success at the Oscars, he should be able to pretty much do as he wants."
Renton, Spud, Sick Boy and Begbie are back, or at least they will be soon.
Writer Irvine Welsh told the Edinburgh Book Festival on Monday that his new novel, Porno, is a sequel to his best-selling 1993 novel Trainspotting, which centers on the lives of a handful of heroin junkies in Edinburgh, Scotland.
Director Danny Boyle made the original book into an outstanding film. In July 1996, Miramax's Trainspotting opened in U.S. theaters and introduced audiences to a group of relatively unknown but impressive actors, including Ewan McGregor (Renton), Ewen Bremmer (Spud), Jonny Lee Miller (Sick Boy) and Robert Carlyle (Begbie). Most of them have gone on to have successful acting careers, especially McGregor, the film's star.
Welsh read excerpts from the manuscript to an audience at the book festival in Edinburgh, which he felt was a suitable setting to reveal some details about the project. After all, one of Trainspotting's most infamous scenes, which involves Renton diving into an excrement-filled toilet to retrieve an opium suppository, took place on the first day of the festival.
Porno brings the four still-standing characters back together, 10 years after the events of Trainspotting. The characters are a little bit older, but will they be any wiser?
Sick Boy does porn
Fans will no doubt be interested in seeing what the beloved characters from Leith have been up to this past decade, and Porno will chronicle the tales. Here are a few teasers:
Spud, still a slave to his heroin addiction, has somehow been roped into writing a history of the town of Leith, the Edinburgh port where the original Trainspotting took place.
Sick Boy, the bleach-blond barbiturate dealer, will make a comeback as an aspiring porn director.
Welsh is also considering bringing a new character into the mix-a journalist turned porn starlet.
Welsh, however, was mum about what the future has in store for Renton and Begbie.
"I can't say what is happening to Renton and Begbie-that would be too much information, but they do get back together," he told Reuters.
The Scottish author also addressed the question of a possible film adaptation. "These days, it is virtually impossible to write a book which couldn't be made into a film," he noted. "But you can't really think like that. If you set out to write a book which will be a film, you're not going to write a good book."
He also hinted that it would be interesting to see how a different set of actors would play the roles of Renton, Spud, Sick Boy and Begbie. Besides, it might be difficult to get McGregor back as old "Rent Boy."
After the success Trainspotting, McGregor, who went on to star in Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace and Moulin Rouge, apparently had a falling out with Boyle.
McGregor was reportedly vying for the lead role in The Beach, directed by Boyle and written by Shallow Grave scribe John Hodge. The role went to Leonardo DiCaprio instead. Although McGregor blames the casting decision on Twentieth Century Fox, he apparently has not spoken to Boyle or Hodge since. (His Trainspotting cast-mate Carlyle did however land a role in The Beach as Daffy.)
Boyle has developed a disdain for Hollywood after the disappointing reviews and criticism of The Beach, going so far as to turning down the Alien Resurrection offshoot. He is currently working on the sci-fi thriller 28 Days Later with Beach writer Alex Garland slated for release next fall.
Porno will be available in bookstores in May. Fans of the Trainspotting movie can probably look forward to a film adaptation, but not for at least another year.
Mimi Farina, a singer and social activist, died of cancer Wednesday at her home in Marin County, Calif., at the age of 56. Like sister and fellow singer Joan Baez, Farina was a member of "folk royalty" in the 1960s, but she left her music career to devote herself to charitable work.
Actress Katharine Hepburn was admitted to a hospital in Hartford, Conn., on Thursday, Reuters reports. James Battaglio, a hospital spokesman, said Hepburn is in stable condition and seems quite comfortable, but did not say what the actress was being treated for. The 94-year-old actress has won four Academy Awards in a career that has spanned five decades.
Singer Janet Jackson has postponed yet another date in her problem-plagued tour. Just hours before showtime in Milwaukee, concert promoters told disappointed fans at the downtown Bradley Center that Jackson was postponing the concert because she had suffered an injury that required emergency dental surgery, The Associated Press reported. The accident occurred sometime Wednesday afternoon. Promoters told concertgoers to keep their tickets in the hopes that the concert could be rescheduled.
The Deftones have canceled Friday's performance at the San Diego Sports arena because lead singer Chino Moreno is suffering lingering effects of a vocal chord injury, Launch.com reports. The group also canceled Wednesday's show at the Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre in Irvine, Calif. This will be the fourth cancellation due to Moreno's injury. The doctor treating Moreno said the singer was under "strict vocal arrest".
British politician and novelist Jeffrey Archer was jailed for four years Thursday after he was found guilty of perjury and perverting the course of justice over a 1987 libel case that centered around allegations he had sex with a prostitute, Reuters reports. He was acquitted of one of the perjury charges. The prosecution said Archer faked two diaries that he presented during the trial to back up some false alibis. Archer, whose best selling novels include Kane and Abel and Honor Among Thieves, was forced to withdraw from the 1999 London mayoral race and was suspended from the Conservative Party for five years, putting a dent in his political career.
Escaped convict Kevin Jerome Pullum spent his first weekend of freedom with his girlfriend in downtown Los Angeles, just blocks from the county jail that he had fled. As sheriff's deputies were conducting seven wristband counts and six jailhouse searches before finally announcing on July 9 that he had escaped, Pullum was enjoying a romantic stay with his girlfriend, Carmen Ford, who said she was unaware he was on the lam, the Los Angeles Times reported. Pullum, a so-called third-strike convict, faces up to life in prison. He reportedly escaped by making a fake identification card using a picture of Eddie Murphy from Dr. Dolittle 2. Pullum continues to elude authorities, despite a large-scale manhunt.
Two officers from the Australian police have flown to Los Angeles, California to interview management and members of Limp Bizkit about the death of a 15-year-old, who was crushed at their concert in Sydney, Reuters reports. The interviews were part of a coroner's investigation into the death of Jessica Michalik, who is believed to have suffered a heart attack after getting caught in a concert crowd surge. Several other fans were injured at the concert and organizers accused the band of having a cavalier attitude toward fan safety.
Robin Williams is praising U.S. cyclist Lance Armstrong for winning the 10th stage of the Tour de France, Reuters reports. Armstrong hinted that after his victory that he had bluffed his opponents into thinking he was hurt. Williams, who is a fan and a friend of Armstrong, suggested the cyclist should receive an Oscar for his performance. The actor also said he has no doubts that Armstrong will rack up his third consecutive Tour victory this year.
Revolution Studios have made a deal that will pair Jet Li and Jackie Chan in a film together for the first time. A script is now being written by Robert Mark Kamen, Luc Besson and Li, who will also co-executive produce the project with Chan.
Actor Richard Dreyfuss is declaring neutrality in the upcoming Screen Actors Guild elections, Variety reports. The retiring president William Daniels said last week that Dreyfuss endorsed Valerie Harper. Apparently there was a misunderstanding. Dreyfuss said he does not endorse any candidate, but does support common sense, civility and the membership of the guild. Harper and Melissa Gilbert announced their candidacy last week, as well as Eugene Boggs.