Ewan McGregor reveals Trainspotting sequel doubts

Ewan McGregor. Picture: Ian Georgeson
Ewan McGregor. Picture: Ian Georgeson
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Ewan McGregor has revealed he did not want to make a sequel to Trainspotting – because he did not rate Irvine Welsh’s follow-up novel.

McGregor has admitted he felt he would “tarnish the reputation” of Trainspotting by making a poor sequel, adding: “I didn’t like the novel Porno very much.”

The Scottish actor has disclosed that he wrote to director Danny Boyle and producer Andrew Macdonald and writer John Hodge to rule out reviving his iconic role as Mark Renton.

McGregor, who had a much-publicised fall-out with Boyle after being ditched from The Beach in favour of Leonardo DiCaprio, admitted the snub left him “mystified” after working with the director on Trainspotting, Shallow Grave and A Life Less Ordinary.

A sequel to Trainspotting, which was released in 1996, has been mooted ever since Welsh’s 2002 novel Porno – which depicts Renton and the other characters from his original 1993 novel.

However, it was not until 2014 that a sequel appeared to be on the cards when Welsh revealed he had met with Boyle to discuss ideas for a follow-up to be made 20 years on from the events in the original.

And McGregor was finally reunited with Boyle and co-stars Ewen Bremner, Robert Carlyle, Jonny Lee Miller and Kelly Macdonald earlier this year to shoot the new film, T2, which is released in January.

Recalling initial approaches about a Trainspotting sequel in a magazine interview, McGregor said: “There wasn’t a script at that point, but I wrote to them saying I didn’t want to do a sequel to Trainspotting.

“I didn’t like the novel Porno very much. It didn’t move me like the novel Trainspotting had, and I didn’t want to 
tarnish the reputation of Trainspotting by making a poor sequel.”

McGregor said he had made up with Boyle back in 2009 when he was asked to present him with a special award in Los Angeles in recognition of his track record as a director.

The Perthshire actor said: “I talked about how it felt to be on his set and how I felt defined as an actor by being his actor. And at the end I just said that I loved him and missed him.”

Meanwhile, the actor revealed he almost passed up the opportunity to appear in the Star Wars series after being approached to replace Sir Alec Guinness as Obi-Wan Kenobi.

He added: “Star Wars is Star Wars, it’s something I grew up with as a kid. At first I was very reluctant to do it, because I saw myself as this urban, grungy actor doing films about heroin and stuff, and that’s who I felt I was.

“But the nearer I got to it, the more I wanted to do it: and it wasn’t for money reasons, because it was back in the day I got paid nicely for it, but it wasn’t ridiculous by any means.

“It was to do with being in it and it didn’t feel like Hollywood.”