Porno i.e. Trainspotting 2: How will the story continue?

In some cases regarding sequels they are usually talked about during the making of the first film. In other cases, sequels are demanded based off the first films success. The case regarding the classic British film Trainspotting is different for reasons which will be explained. Nether-the-less it is a prime example of a ‘standalone hit,’ a film so original (the type to regenerate a genre) that making a sequel could ruin everything the first film stood for. Sometimes leaving the ‘classic’ alone works for its long lasting value and authenticity. To do otherwise i.e. sequel(s) made for cash reasons nearly never tend to be as good.

So why the twenty year wait and what is up with the title ‘Porno’? Well Trainspotting the movie is based on the book by Irvine Welsh, whom also wrote Porno which is the follow up novel to Trainspotting. It is set ten years after the first story and instead of the characters being involved in heroin, they are now involved in the porn industry.

The development of the second movie began during the making of Danny Boyle’s 2003 film Trance (the undeniable attempt to follow a mountain of an act after the glorious Slumdog Millionaire) and is scheduled for a 2016 release (a quirky 20 year anniversary to Trainspotting.) The audience can have an idea of what to expect from Porno because it will be an adapted screenplay. But, it would be cool to see how close Mr Boyle and Co. stick to it. So let’s look into it…

Picking up where Trainspotting left off, Renton (McGregor) got into a relationship with a still at school teenager, Diane (Macdonald.) Successfully scored a drug deal with his “so called mates” Sick Boy (Lee Miller) Spud (Bremner) and Begbie (Carlyle) and then ripped them off by taking all the money and disappearing, deciding to “choose life.” Revenge would be an obvious plot. This would be ideal to carry a TV show over numerous episodes, but we only have two hours here so it will be interesting to see if and how this is used.

Spud tried to kick heroin, failed and then went along with the drug deal. He was the only character to receive a share of the money from Renton, so an obvious plot would be to see how Spud made use of it: for good or bad. What would be pleasing in Porno is to see Spud completely transformed, perhaps he is clean and working a decent job? On the flip side, it would be tragic to see him descend deeper into heroin abuse, but would work for tragedy. Since the drug deal came about, Sick Boy and Begbie became partners in a sense and Sick Boy is probably the most selfish character out of all of them. But unlike Begbie, Sick Boy would probably let the Renton go, do the same and cut off completely. I think a great way to regenerate Porno is to make Sick Boy the central character in a completely new setting. Perhaps he owns a business in another country? Whatever he does, we follow him in the second film where we followed Renton in the first.

Begbie goes psycho when Renton steals the money, smashing up the hotel room and getting arrested. It would be straight forward to assume he would go after Renton. Being the baddy, Begbie would bring menace to the plot and his unpredictability is the key to dramatic tension. But what if there were a twist? Perhaps Begbie becomes a born again Christian, but his old demons won’t let him go?

Which brings us finally to Diane, the jewel of Trainspotting and in my opinion should become the central character to Porno if it isn’t Sick Boy. This would give the film a complete turn of events. Yes Renton and Diane becoming married would be predictable, but, it would work! Seeing these two in later years would give the story a well-deserved freshness. If Diane become the heroine of Porno (the once little school girl now a woman which the other characters now look up too) that wouldn’t be expected, which is cinema: Sick Boy became the central baddy, Diane the heroine and Renton provided the arch of the story. That could meld together nicely.

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So they are the suggestions, but what happens in the book? Well it turns out one of my suggestions does match: Sick Boy does become the central character to Porno. He goes back to Scotland, becomes a manager of his aunt’s pub and starts a relationship with a University student, Nikki (a new character and seeming somewhat head scratching replacement for Diane!) It is through Nikki, Sick Boy is introduced to the porn industry.

Spud goes to groups, attempting to become clean of his addiction. He has a relationship with Alison (whom had an on and off relationship with Sick Boy in Trainspotting) which is well thought out and a nice touch. However Spud becomes at war with Sick Boy for various reasons, Alison being one of them. Begbie does go to prison. Eventually he is released, seeks to find the old gang only to meet up with Sick Boy at his pub, then dragged into his feud with Spud and eventually ends up in a coma after being hit by a car. Which brings us finally to Renton. He works at a nightclub in Amsterdam, gets back in touch with Sick Boy, agrees to invest in his porn film and cheats him out of money again!

So between my suggestions and the motives in the book, there are a few similarities. Begbie’s story in Porno however seems a bit tame and could cost dearly regarding the tension factor. Sick Boy being the central figure is a winner. Renton retiring to being the seeming plot device is perfect. But the biggest tragedy is the exclusion of Diane, which has been said she is not to return at all, which I think is a mistake.

All we know is Porno will be an adapted screenplay meaning the makers of the film will have to stick to some elements of the book… but that doesn’t mean they have to stick to all of it. It would be fun to see Porno completely out of the box, perhaps as a straight out comedy. Or maybe the characters are white collar professionals, the complete opposite to how they were in Trainspotting. But then again that could take away the characters spirit and who we know them for. Whichever way Porno turns out, it should be completely its own the way Trainspotting was. And bring back Diane for God’s sake!

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