Trainspotting Spin-Off TV Series in the Works

Adapted from Irving Welsh's follow-up novel The Blade Artist

trainspotting spin-off tv series robert carlyle
Robert Carlyle as Begbie in Trainspotting (Channel Four Films)

    25 years after it was first popularized by Danny Boyle’s cult classic film, the Trainspotting franchise is getting a spin-off TV series. According to actor Robert Carlyle, an adaptation of the follow-up to Irvine Welsh’s novel of the same name is in early planning stages.

    In a recent interview with NME, Carlyle — who played Begbie in 1996’s Trainspotting — spoke about the project. “Irvine [Welsh] and myself have been chatting quite a lot recently with a couple of excellent producers in London about [continuing the Trainspotting story],” he revealed. “As you know there was another book called The Blade Artist which is just entirely about Begbie and his mad story. It’s still in its early moments but it’s looking pretty good that this will happen eventually.”

    Carlyle continued by explaining why a six-episode “television event piece” is the right fit:

    “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. I think nowadays people like the event thing too – they like ‘six hours of this… bang.’ They can boxset it. They can binge it. So after a few chats we thought that’s the way forward. So that’s the plan. Sometime in the next year and a bit we’ll hopefully be talking again and we’ll be talking about the return of Begbie.”


    Published in 2016, The Blade Artist centers around the past and present of Begbie. Now going by the name of Jim Francis and living in California with his wife and two daughters, he returns to Scotland for his murdered son’s funeral. The novel is one of five in the Trainspotting universe, which kicked off with the 1993 original and was followed by the 2002 sequel Porno, 2012 prequel Skagboys, and the most recent entry, 2018’s Dead Man‘s Trousers.

    The last Trainspotting film was the long-awaited T2 Trainspotting. Welsh has stoked rumors of a third movie in interviews, but it appears we’re following Begbie to the small screen first.

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