In exciting news for fans of Trainspotting, it has been announced that a TV adaptation to Irvine Welsh’s follow-up novel, The Blade Artist, is in the early stages of development, with Robert Carlyle already having been confirmed as a member of the cast. The actor performed in the Danny Boyle-directed 1990s classic in the role of hard-nut Begbie, one which he reprised in the 2017 sequel T2: Trainspotting.
There have been rumours of a third film floating around for some time, but it would seem that the next Welsh adaptation will grace the small screen first. While promoting the second season of his political drama COBRA, Carlyle said: “Irvine [Welsh] and myself have been chatting quite a lot recently with a couple of excellent producers in London about [continuing the Trainspotting story].”
“As you know there was another book called The Blade Artist which is just entirely about Begbie and his mad story. It’s still in its early moments but it’s looking pretty good that this will happen eventually,” the actor added.
Irvine Welsh has written five books about the Trainspotting characters, of which The Blade Artist is the fourth. After the first novel came out in 1993, Welsh went on to publish the 2002 sequel Porno, the 2012 prequel Skagboys, The Blade Artist, and then Dead Man‘s Trousers in 2018. The Blade Artist focuses on Begbie’s life since the Trainspotting days. When we meet him, he is a reformed and rechristened Jim Francis, living in California with his wife and two daughters.
In an exclusive interview, Carlyle said. “I think we’re thinking about doing it as six one-hour ‘television event piece’, as they say nowadays – whatever that means. But it seemed to me to be right to look at it like that, and Irvine loved that idea. It’s such a massive story – it’s all Los Angeles back and forth to Edinburgh – and it’s difficult to do all that in an hour and a half! Especially if you want to keep the basis of that book pure.”
“I think nowadays people like the event thing too – they like ‘six hours of this… bang.’ They can boxset it. They can binge it. So after a few chats, we thought that’s the way forward. So that’s the plan. Sometime in the next year and a bit we’ll hopefully be talking again and we’ll be talking about the return of Begbie,” Carlyle concluded.
No official release date has been penciled in as of yet.