It took an entire day to film in the heart of Edinburgh and would have been a tongue-in-cheek tribute to one of the most iconic scenes in Scottish cinema history.
But scenes of Ewan McGregor and Ewen Bremner dashing through packed crowds on Princes Street were left on the cutting room floor when Trainspotting’s sequel was being edited.
But six months after the release of Danny Boyle’s follow-up, they will finally see the light of day after being included in half an hour of deleted scenes on the T2 DVD, which is released tomorrow.
The sequence, which saw the pair make off with an iPad, mimicked the opening of the original 1996 film, when McGregor and Bremner’s characters, Renton and Spud, are pursued by store detectives for stealing CDs from the then John Menzies store.
The new sequence, which was partly filmed in Urban Outfitters, and sees Renton and Spud dash past the giraffe statues outside the Omni Centre on Leith Street, involved complex negotiations with the city council and the developers behind the ongoing St James Centre revamp.
It ended with the two characters running into a derelict former tram depot on Leith Walk, one of more than 50 locations around Edinburgh used between May and July last year.
The 29 deleted scenes reveal that Kelly Macdonald’s character Diane, now a successful lawyer, allows Renton to stay at her flat, but rebuffs his attempts to regain her affections. When Renton has a heart-to-heart with Spud’s ex-girlfriend Gail, played by Shirley Henderson, she tells him that she and his son, Fergus, “still love him” despite his heroin addiction.
A more fragile side to Robert Carlyle’s volatile character, Begbie, is revealed when his wife, June, played by Pauline Turner, suggests he take medication to help revive their flagging love life.
Begbie also turns up unannounced at the home of his lawyer, played by Steven Robertson, holding him hostage after escaping jail.
Bremner has revealed around 40 per cent of the scenes shot by Boyle had been left out, many concentrating on the women in the film.
In an interview this weekend, Bremner said: “They’re fantastic actresses and Danny shot quite a bit more with all of them, but in the editing I think he came to the conclusion that the thrust of the story was about masculinity and sacrifices had to be made. All of the women have control over their lives and are managing in a healthy way. It’s the men that are falling off the carousel.”
Rosie Ellison, manager of the Film Edinburgh commission, said: “I never discuss any live location filming, mainly as you never know what will make the final cut. The amazing chase sequence was filmed with the St James Centre undergoing major development with heavy machinery, cranes and traffic management on Leith Street.”