Get the gang back together for T2 Trainspotting

Renton and the gang are back for what promises to be an unmissable reunion. But what have they been up to since the cult classic first hit our screens? Den of Geek editor Simon Brew gets you ready for T2 Trainspotting.

Spoilers for the original Trainspotting lie ahead.

“Hello Mark. What have you been up to: for 20 years?”

20 years ago, most of us were hanging around with different people to those we surround ourselves with now. Friendships drift, new people come into our lives, circumstances change. Mind you, 20 years ago, most of us left our friends in a better state than Mark “Rent Boy” Renton, the character stunningly brought to life by Ewan McGregor on the big screen in Danny Boyle’s 1996 film of Irvine Welsh’s book, Trainspotting.
Get the gang back together for T2 Trainspotting
27th January sees the sequel, T2 Trainspotting, pull into Vue. It’s a film that Boyle first openly expressed interest in making back in 2009, and he finally brought the team back together in 2016. But sometimes getting the old gang together takes a bit of time. This is Boyle working with Ewan McGregor for the first time since 1997’s A Life Less Ordinary, with the pair falling out over Boyle’s decision to give Leonardo DiCaprio the lead role in his 2000 adaptation of The Beach.

But time heals, and that’s what Renton will be hoping, too. The last we saw of him, he was making off with £16,000, the proceeds of a drug deal where he double crossed Spud, Sick Boy and – most terrifyingly of all – Begbie at the end of the first film. Well, save for the £2,000 he left for Spud in a locker. With the money, Renton promised to go clean, straight and get an electric tin opener. Now we get to find out if he’s made good on that promise. Tins, hopefully, included.

The gang: 20 years on

Get the gang back together for T2 Trainspotting


T2 Trainspotting will see Renton decide to go home, apparently for the first time in two decades. It’s fair to say that he’s expecting a less than friendly welcome, and by the fact that he’s kept a distance from the old crowd, it’d be fair to assume he’s moved on to a degree – and not just geographically.
Get the gang back together for T2 Trainspotting


But it doesn’t look as if Robert Carlyle’s terrifying Begbie has. Unsurprisingly, the ultra-violent one of the gang didn’t taken Renton’s double cross well. A hotel room was duly smashed up, the police moved in, and as the trailer for T2 Trainspotting revealed, Begbie has – to the surprise of nobody – been in prison. It’s no secret that Begbie wants payback.
Get the gang back together for T2 Trainspotting

Sick Boy

Sick Boy, played by Jonny Lee Miller, doesn’t seem to have moved on too much either. Early released footage suggests understandable tension between him and Renton. What’s more, Sick Boy is, in the words of Miller, “still kidding himself that he’s winning”, and still involved with drugs.
Get the gang back together for T2 Trainspotting


Perhaps most intriguingly, we’re going to meet Diane again. Kelly Macdonald reprises the role, and she’s gone from the underage eye of Renton’s affections to working in a posh job in a posh office. Early hints suggest that Renton has remained as memorable in her life as she has in his.
Get the gang back together for T2 Trainspotting


It’s Ewen Bremner’s Spud who threatens to break the heart, though. His life, it seems, has been testing, and it looks as if we’re going to meet a character losing hope and belief. He’s surely the one who needs Renton back the most, money or no money.
T2 promises to be an unmissable reunion, this time taking Irvine Welsh’s Porno as its inspiration (John Hodge, Oscar nominated for the first film, has adapted it). It almost calls for getting in touch with your own crowd from two decades back – assuming one of them hasn’t double-crossed you…

Get the gang together for T2 Trainspotting, out 27th January: get times and tickets here.