“Hello Mark, so what have you been up to…for 20 years?”
20 years on from Trainspotting, one of the all-time great British films, the first trailer for its sequel has arrived. But what can we expect from the highly anticipated follow up? Here are three things to look out for in T2.
An era defining soundtrack
“The world is changing, music is changing.”
Trainspotting is its soundtrack. Trainspotting is the opening sequence, which sees Mark “Rent Boy” Renton (McGregor) and Daniel “Spud” Murphy (Bremner) running from security guards to the sound of the iconic drumbeat in Iggy Pop’s “Lust for Life”. Trainspotting is Rent Boy’s almost heroin overdose to the soothing melody of Lou Reed’s “Perfect Day”. Trainspotting is the high tempo, pounding, bassline of Underworld’s “Born Slippy” as Rent Boy mulls over betraying his friends in the climatic last scene of the film.
The trailer for T2 has already given an insight in to what we should expect; merging from nostalgia with “Born Slippy” to Wolf Alice’s 2015 track, “Silk”. Speaking to NME, Wolf Alice drummer Joel Amey, said: If there’s a weird scene I’d love to see something by Let’s Eat Grandma on there, or if there’s a heavy scene I’m sure Foals could soundtrack something like that.”
20 years on, music from the Trainspotting soundtrack still brings flashbacks to your first or second watch. Whatever is chosen for T2, hopefully something similar can be achieved.
Tributes to Trainspotting within a fresh, original story
The above video by Vimeo user Really Dim shows the already observable references to Trainspotting in the T2 trailer. For a lot of the Trainspotting audience, the sequel will act as a flashback into their own lives circa 1996; where they were at that stage of their life and what they thought their future held. The inclusion of these subtle tributes may well act as a stimulant for its audience, bringing back emotions and memories from the time that have been forgotten.
But the issue of sequels living off of the success of their predecessors is far too common in modern film. There is an undercurrent of playing it safe and producing more of the same.
T2 should buck the trend on the premise that it’s based on the novel Porno, Trainspotting author Irvine Welsh’s sequel to his debut novel that director Danny Boyle’s adaption of the same name was based on. Boyle’s presence at the core of T2 should maintain a fresh feel; after all, he’s an Academy, BAFTA, and Golden Globe award winner for a reason.
Hard hitting issues
As discussed earlier, Trainspotting’s pioneering soundtrack is at the core of its cultural resonance, but the film’s plot and themes act as a way to connect to its audience in a somewhat brutal approach. Following the central characters’ as their heroin addictions produce utterly heart-breaking consequences makes for a really tough watch, which brings out and manipulates varying emotions.
The presence of a well received, original novel by Welsh behind it gives hope for T2 following in Trainspotting’s path. The collective return of Ewan McGregor, Jonny Lee Miller, Ewen Bremner, and Robert Carlyle, in addition to Trainspotting screenwriter John Hodge, should see the core themes of Porno delivered in a similarly cruel, emotional, and uncompromising format.