Edinburgh hosts world premiere of Trainspotting’s sequel

UK-wide release on Friday 27 January 2017

You don’t have to wait much longer: on Friday 27 January, T2: Trainspotting is set for release in UK cinemas, with the world premiere taking place in Edinburgh on Sunday 22 January at the Cineworld in Fountain Park.

Loosely based on Edinburgh-born Irvine Welsh’s novel, Porno, the film is the highly anticipated sequel to one of the 1990s most iconic movies.

T2 takes place 21 years after the events in the first film, and follows the story of Mark Renton (Ewan McGregor) as he returns to Edinburgh and reunites with Spud (Ewen Bremner), Sick Boy (Jonny Lee Miller), Begbie (Robert Carlyle) and other old friends.


Irvine Welsh’s era-defining Trainspotting was published in 1993 by Secker and Warburg, and is a grim exploration of what has been dubbed the ‘chemical generation’ of Edinburgh in the late 1980s. Most of the story takes place in Leith and critiques the mass unemployment and ensuing social problems prevalent in cities across the UK at that time.

Known for its graphic depiction of heroin use, the novel has been at the centre of a contentious debate about drugs and literature since its publication and echoes an earlier biography of drug use by Edinburgh author Thomas De Quincey: his Confessions of an English Opium Eater (1821).

Welsh went on to write a sequel to the novel, Porno, in 2002, as well as a prequel, Skagboys, in 2012.

Since being adapted into a feature film in 1996 directed by Danny Boyle, the novel has achieved cult status. Stars of the film included Ewan MacGregor, Kelly Macdonald and Robert Carlyle, most of whom were unknown before the film’s release.

In 2009, director Danny Boyle decided to produce a sequel that would take place nine years after the original, loosely based on Irvine Welsh’s Porno. In 2013 he declared that the title of the second film would be Trainspotting 2, and would see the return of the original actors.


A decade after Trainspotting its sequel appeared. Porno was published in 2002 and tells the story of the motley crew’s return to Edinburgh, 10 years after the original story ended. Still scheming, still scamming.

Porno was republished as T2: Trainspotting in 2017, coinciding with the release of its silver screen adaptation.

Born in Edinburgh in 1957, in the very heart of Leith, Irvine Welsh is a novelist, playwright and short story writer, best known for his first novel, Trainspotting, published in 1993. Welsh has since published 10 further novels, and written a number of screenplays and short story collections.

He studied at Edinburgh’s Ainslie Park High School, in East Pilton, and left at the age of 17 to pursue a course in electrical engineering. In 1978, Welsh was drawn to the London punk scene, but eventually returned to Edinburgh, where he began working for the council and studying for an MBA at Heriot-Watt University.

It was here that he began writing Trainspotting.

You can visit key locations from the book in the Trainspotting tour around Leith run by Tim Bell.

The tour gives a deeper insight into the characters’ backgrounds and upbringing, and incorporates readings from the book.

Bustling Leith may no longer be the place described in Welsh’s book, but Trainspotting depicts a darker side of Edinburgh, and it’s certainly worth visiting if you’re a fan of the book and film.


Cineworld Fountainpark in Edinburgh will host the world premiere of T2: Trainspoting a week before the UK launch date, on Sunday 22 January at 6pm.