ByRicky Derisz, writer at
Staff Writer at MP. "Holy cow, Rick! I didn't know hanging out with you was making me smarter!" Twitter: @RDerisz.
Ricky Derisz

*Warning: This post contains mild spoilers for T2: Trainspotting, based on the source novel.*

It's a film that both mirrored and reshaped a generation. A film that encouraged us to choose life. Choose a job. Choose a big fucking television. Choose a movie poster with meaningful but oversold motto for the walls of your university bedroom (maybe that was just me) or, say no to that and choose something else — heroin.

At least that's what Edinburgh based Mark "Rent Boy" Renton () and his pals opted for in Danny Boyle's unforgettable black comedy, Trainspotting. Two whole decades have passed since then, and both the cast and are back to do it all again in the long-awaited sequel, T2: Trainspotting.

But while we could choose to look at what the actors have been up to since, where's the fun in that? You already know. Instead, we'll take a look at Porno (no, not in that way, naughty) — Irvine's follow-up novel the sequel is loosely based on — to give some context to the sequel's trailer. Tighten your belts, it's a rough ride:

Mark "Rent Boy" Renton (Ewan McGregor)

Ewan McGregor as Renton [Credit: Miramax Films]
Ewan McGregor as Renton [Credit: Miramax Films]

Last seen: Renton, the protagonist and narrator, steals the stash of cash from bully-boy Begbie and seems intent on living a normal, heroin-free life.

What has he been up to: The initial ill-gotten gains have turned into a worthwhile investment; Renton is now the owner of a successful club in Amsterdam, a location that is central to Trainspotting 2.

Renton, now clean, has even taken up martial arts due to the relentless fear of being caught by Begbie. Oh, and he agrees to finance a porno made by Sick Boy. More on that later.

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Daniel "Spud" Murphy (Ewen Bremner)

Last seen: The affable and bed-shitting Spud always struggled with the hostile and drug-fuelled environment. But by the end of , things were looking positive after he was given £2,000 by Renton in an attempt to sort his life out.

What has he been up to: Unfortunately, Spud is still struggling. Over the years he has made many failed attempts at becoming sober, with mixed results. He's still in a relationship with Alison, but the pressures of life leave him contemplating suicide.

Simon "Sick Boy" Williamson (Jonny Lee Miller)

Jonny Lee Miller as Sick Boy [Credit: Miramax Films]
Jonny Lee Miller as Sick Boy [Credit: Miramax Films]

Last seen: The James Bond admirer was arguably the most dynamic, forward-thinking and charismatic of the group. It was his plan to fund the heroin deal initially, before asking Renton to help him fund the initial £4,000. Renton's theft also denied Sick Boy his slice of the pie.

What has he been up to: I promised you more on that illustrious porno in , and here it is. After focusing his effort on working in his aunt's pub, Williams turns to adult entertainment after hearing of a home-made operation run by a mutual friend.

Despite previously being ripped off by Renton, he decides to allow him to invest, using Renton's club as a filming location. Unlike Renton, he's struggled to kick the habit, and still uses cocaine heavily.

Francis "Franco" Begbie (Robert Carlyle)

Robert Carlyle as Begbie [Credit: Miramax Films]
Robert Carlyle as Begbie [Credit: Miramax Films]

Last seen: In a deep sleep following the success of the heroin deal, blissfully unaware that Renton was about to steal the funds. It was Begbie's violent nature and penchant for unprovoked assaults that encourage Renton to go through with the scam.

What has he been up to: Well, not much. Unsurprisingly, Begbie wound up in prison. The bad news is he's now been released, and is going in search of his former pals to enact some serious revenge, starting off by paying Sick Boy a visit in his pub. This can only end badly...


Which character are you most excited to see return?


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