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Hot Project: "Trainspotting" sequel in the works

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Aug 28, 2001 | 1:41pm EDT

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.

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