A brand new television adaptation of the Trainspotting universe is in the works, with Trainspotting star Robert Carlyle set to reprise the iconic role of Begbie. The series will be based on Irvine Welsh’s follow-up novel The Blade Artist which explores the life of Begbie who has the new name of Jim Francis and is living in California with a wife and two daughters.
In a recent interview with Sky News, Carlyle revealed that there’s a lot of development to be done: “It’s a way off at the moment, I would think probably the way these things go, 18 months or so maybe down the line. It’s based on Irvine Welsh’s novel, The Blade Artist, which kind of takes on Begbie’s story well after the whole Trainspotting events have passed by.”
According to the actor, The Blade Artist shows just how bizarre Begbie’s life has become since the Trainspotting days. “He has discovered art while he’s in prison, his form of art is sculpture,” Carlyle said, while talking about the same crazy character who haunted the streets of Edinburgh with alcohol fuelling his rage.
Carlyle elaborated: “And he ends up marrying his art therapist from the prison, which I guess, you know, that’s a kind of well-worn path that happens a lot. I’ve investigated and studied that, that happens. He’s ended up in California, he’s in California with a wife, children, his artwork has been taken by the kind of glitterati of the day.”
Given Carlyle’s exciting descriptions of the character arc and the project, The Blade Artist series already seems like one to watch out for. Carlyle said: “So he’s a kind of cause celebre suddenly, but very quickly, within 10 pages of the book, he gets a phone call from back home and his son has been murdered by a gang. So he has to go back, and as he goes back, it just spirals out of control.”
Watch an interview with Irvine Welsh and Robert Carlyle about Begbie below.