Ewan McGregor reveals he had doubts over Trainspotting sequel

Ewan McGregor has revealed he did not want to make a sequel to Trainspotting - because he did not rate Irvine Welsh's follow-up novel.

Trainspotting star Ewan McGregor. Picture: Ian Georgeson
Trainspotting star Ewan McGregor. Picture: Ian Georgeson

McGregor has admitted he felt he would “tarnish the ­reputation” of Trainspotting by making a poor sequel, ­adding: “I didn’t like the novel Porno very much.”

The Scottish actor has ­disclosed that he wrote to director Danny Boyle, ­producer Andrew Macdonald and writer John Hodge to rule out reviving his iconic role as Mark Renton.

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McGregor, who had a much-publicised fall-out with Boyle after being ditched from The Beach in favour of Leonardo DiCaprio, admitted the snub left him “mystified” after working with the director on Trainspotting, Shallow Grave and A Life Less Ordinary.

A sequel to Trainspotting, which was released in 1996, has been raised ever since Porno came out in 2002. The novel depicts Renton and the other characters from Welsh’s original 1993 book.

However, it was not until 2014 that a follow-up appeared to be on the cards when Welsh revealed that he had met with Boyle to discuss ideas for a sequel to be made, staged 20 years on from the events in the original.

McGregor was finally ­reunited with Boyle and 
co-stars Ewen Bremner, ­Robert Carlyle, Jonny Lee Miller and Kelly Macdonald earlier this year to shoot the new film, T2, which is released in January.

Recalling initial approaches about a Trainspotting sequel, McGregor said: “There wasn’t a script at that point, but I wrote to them saying I didn’t want to do a sequel to Trainspotting.

“I didn’t like the novel Porno very much. It didn’t move me like Trainspotting had, and I didn’t want to tarnish the ­reputation of Trainspotting by making a poor sequel.”

McGregor said he had made up with Boyle back in 2009 when he was asked to present him with a special award in Los Angeles in recognition of his track record as a director.

The Perthshire actor said: “I talked about how it felt to be on his set and how I felt defined as an actor by being his actor. And at the end I just said that I loved him and missed him.”

The actor also revealed that he almost passed up the opportunity to appear in the Star Wars series after being approached to replace Sir ­
Alec Guinness as Obi-Wan Kenobi.

He added: “Star Wars is Star Wars, it’s something I grew up with as a kid. At first I was very reluctant to do it, because I saw myself as this urban, grungy actor doing films about heroin and stuff, and that’s who I felt I was.

“But the nearer I got to it, the more I wanted to do it: and it wasn’t for money ­reasons. I got paid nicely for it, but it wasn’t ridiculous by any means.

“It was to do with being in it and it didn’t feel like ­Hollywood. George Lucas ­hated Hollywood, he was in San Francisco following the beat of his own drum.”

McGregor was back in ­Scotland earlier this month for the launch of his ­directorial debut, an adaptation of the Philip Roth novel American Pastoral.