Begbie Is Back in an Upcoming Trainspotting Spin-Off

A spin-off of the legendary 1996 film Trainspotting is in development, focusing on the hilarious and unhinged Begbie.

Image: Miramax/Everett Collection

Actor Robert Carlyle has revealed a Trainspotting TV series is currently being discussed. It will revolve around his memorable psychopath of a character, Francis “Franco” Begbie.

This news comes to light as Trainspotting author Irvine Welsh begins working on a follow-up novel for the series. Welsh has penned five books in the series altogether, the fourth of which is titled The Blade Artist, which is entirely about Begbie and his crazy story.

The Blade Artist follows Begbie as an artist living in California as Jim Francis. Following the murder of his son, Francis returns to his hometown in Scotland. What follows is an unpredictable turn of events. The series will prove to be a character study of one of Trainspotting’s standout personalities. 

While no date is confirmed yet for the series, it is in development, and Carlyle has confirmed his return to the role.

LA to Edinburgh

The series is being planned to be a 6-hour “television event piece.” This decision comes as no surprise as Begbie’s story is a large spectacle going from LA to Edinborough. Author Irvine Welsh has stated that they plan on being as faithful to the book as possible, “I think we’re thinking about doing it as a six one-hour “television event piece”, as they say nowadays. Whatever that means. But it seemed to me to be right to look at it like that, and Irvine loved that idea.”

“It’s such a massive story – it’s all Los Angeles back and forth to Edinburgh – and it’s difficult to do all that in an hour and a half! Especially if you want to keep the basis of that book pure.”

The producers of the show are currently unknown. And it remains to be seen if original Trainspotting director Danny Boyle will have any involvement. However, Boyle has spoken in recent years of his own interest in adapting the Begbie spin-off book. 

Begbie was last seen in Trainspotting 2, escaping prison and seeking revenge on his friend Renton. The sequel film was less dependent on the source material but still left the story open for continuation. The new series being closer to the book may be a step in the right direction for the series.

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