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Still from Transpotting

A Trainspotting TV series spin-off is reportedly in the works

Robert Carlye (AKA Trainspotting’s Begbie) says the show will be based on Irvine Welsh’s The Blade Artist

A TV series adaptation of Irvine Welsh’s 2016 novel The Blade Artist — which picks up the story told in the author’s previous novels, Trainspotting and Porno — is in the early stages of development, according to actor Robert Carlyle.

Carlyle played the psychopathic Begbie in both Danny Boyle’s film adaptation of Trainspotting and its long-awaited 2017 follow-up, T2: Trainspotting. In a new interview, shared via NME, he explains that he’s involved in continuing the story, saying: “Irvine and myself have been chatting quite a lot recently with a couple of excellent producers in London.”

“As you know there was another book called The Blade Artist, just entirely about Begbie and his mad story,” he goes on, suggesting that this will form the source material for the small screen adaptation. “It’s still in its early moments but it’s looking pretty good that this will happen eventually.”

Published in 2016, The Blade Artist is one of several Trainspotting sequels penned by Welsh. The story follows a reformed Begbie, who is rechristened Jim Francis and is living with his family in California, though he has to return to Scotland for the funeral of his son.

Expanding on the adaptation in the new interview, Carlyle says: “I think we’re thinking about doing it as six one-hour ‘television event piece’... 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. 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.”

In the meantime, you can revisit Dazed’s 2017 interview with Danny Boyle and the original Trainspotting cast here.