Could A 'Trainspotting' Spin-Off Kickstart The 'Trainspotting' Cinematic Universe?

We could be getting a third Trainspotting film, though it wouldn't necessarily be called T3, nor even be directed by Danny Boyle. But the T2: Trainspotting director says there's potential for a Trainspotting extended universe if volatile, fan-favorite character Begbie (Robert Carlyle) gets a spin-off movie.

The Trainspotting movies are based on the novels by Irvine Welsh, whose first novel, Trainspotting, was the basis for Boyle's 1996 cult hit starring Ewan McGregor, Jonny Lee Miller, Ewen Bremner and Carlyle as a group of friends and heroin addicts. The sequel out this year is based on Welsh's follow-up novel, Porno.

In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Boyle said that he'd like to see a spin-off movie centered on Carlyle's Begbie, the violent and unhinged character who sometimes acts as antagonist to McGregor's character, Mark "Rent" Renton. And Begbie already has a whole rich backstory detailing his life with his family as a sculptor in Calfornia, provided by Welsh in the recently released book, The Blade Artist:

"It's like a solo book. I think Bobby [Carlyle] would love to do that because it's an interesting twist on the character. That may be made into a film. You couldn't call it T3 because although some of the other characters come into it, they're only featured just momentarily. It's a solo story. You could call that a spinoff. ... Blade Artist is a great read."

But Boyle couldn't say whether he would direct the standalone movie himself, especially with Begbie's fate in T2. "My affection is toward all four of them," Boyle said. "I always saw it as an ensemble movie, so I'm still very much in that mode."

Carlyle, however, wasn't against the idea of reprising his role as Begbie. "We've been talking about that, I am up for doing it. So maybe we ain't seen the end of Begbie just yet," he told reporters at T2's Edinburgh premiere, according to The Guardian.

T2 Trainspotting poster

A Trainspotting Cinematic Universe?

Boyle told The Hollywood Reporter that if any director did want to tackle a Begbie prequel, the wealth of stories from Welsh's novels is enough to create their own cinematic universe:

"Irvine Welsh returns to these characters in many different ways, in different novels. They appear as casual characters in each others' stories; we call it Irving's little Marvel universe."

With virtually every franchise getting a cinematic universe (I'm looking at you, Universal Monsters; what are you, a theme park?), it may be refreshing to have an extended franchise based on a bunch of Scottish drug addicts just trying to get by. I say this in all seriousness. TriStar Pictures, choose life. Choose a Trainspotting spin-off series.