Irvine Welsh raises Trainspotting sequel hopes

Irvine Welsh joins artist Tom Ewing at the mural celebrating the port's history. Picture: Toby Williams
Irvine Welsh joins artist Tom Ewing at the mural celebrating the port's history. Picture: Toby Williams
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A SEQUEL to film classic Trainspotting has been the subject of fevered anticipation for several years.

Now author Irvine Welsh has revealed a follow-up to the 1996 movie just moved a big step closer after the creative team behind the original met up for the first time in a decade.

Welsh was reunited in Edinburgh this week with director Danny Boyle, producer Andrew Macdonald and screenwriter John Hodge to tour the city and assess its “vibe”.

But Welsh, 55, said the project would still only go ahead if the script could do “justice” to the first film.

He was speaking as he returned to his birthplace of Leith yesterday to unveil a new mural by artist Tom Ewing celebrating the area’s history and people.

The mural adorns the side of the Leith Dockers Club in Academy Street where officials also presented Welsh with its first honorary membership and a key to the front door.

While making time to visit friends and family, Welsh returned to the Capital from his US home to meet up with his Trainspotting cohorts to discuss their plans.

He said: “This week was the first time in ten years that myself, Danny, Andrew and John have been in the same room together. We’ve met up individually, but not all four of us. We wanted to get together, take a look around, and get the vibe of the city.

“Part of our meeting was to see if we could still be good friends because you need that to make a film together. We’ve now cleared that test so we’re looking at practical issues in terms of the script. Without a great script there won’t be a film.”

Welsh backed the film’s original screenwriter, John Hodge, to come up with the goods, with a cinematic release in 2016 to mark Trainspotting’s 20th anniversary still likely if he meets the challenge.

He said: “My preference would be for John to write it. It needs a different set of eyes, a fresh take. We just need to answer the question of whether we want to make it.”

He added: “It would have to be a story which did justice to the first film.”

As Welsh reconnected with his cinematic past, the author was delighted by the mural celebrating Leith’s heritage.

It captures its seafaring past, including a poignant depiction of shipbuilders leaving its yards forever in the 1980s.

He said: “It’s important to keep in touch with the past. The docks and shipbuilding gave Leith so much of its character. In this internet age, everywhere can end up looking the same with homogenised buildings and shops. Streets become the same and people become the same. It’s easy to forget our past and the history which makes a place unique and special.

“The mural has great touches and captures so much of Leith. I particularly liked the inclusion of the old Kirkgate. I was too young to remember it, but my mum and dad always talked about how great it was.”

With the inclusion of trams running down historic Leith Walk on the mural, Dockers Club secretary Bill Skivington joked they were the “only ones to be seen” in the area – a situation Welsh would like to see addressed.

He said: “I’m pro-tram and now the service is nearly up and running, and so much of the difficult work is done, I’d like to see it extended to Leith and on to Granton and Pilton to help regenerate those communities. Edinburgh is a capital and it’s been deprived too long of a premier transport system. I would keep going and take the trams to the ERI and out to Wester Hailes. Manchester and Dublin have transformed their cities with trams and Edinburgh could follow suit.”

Irvine fears double relegation for Capital

AHEAD of tomorrow’s crunch derby, Irvine Welsh was less upbeat about the future of football in the city.

With Hearts already relegated and Hibs facing a battle to retain their place in the Premiership, the author believes both clubs need serious rebuilding.

He said: “It’s going to be very difficult for Hibs to stay up. They are on a downward roll and it’s always very difficult for the team in bad form in a relegation fight. It’s a shame because I thought it was a new dawn when Terry Butcher arrived.

“With Hearts down and Hibs looking realistically as if they will go down, it’s not a good time to be a football fan in Edinburgh. It doesn’t seem long ago the teams under George Burley and Tony Mowbray made the city the place to go for exciting football. Hopefully Hibs will stay up and Hearts can come back into the top league.”