Robert Carlye set reprise role of Trainspotting’s Begbie in ‘The Blade Artist’

SCOTTISH actor Robert Carlyle is set to reprise his role as Francis Begbie from hit films Trainspotting and ‘T2’ in a new series called ‘The Blade Artist’.

Hollywood outlet Deadline News reported the casting earlier today revealing the Scot will be executive producer alongside author Irvine Welsh.

The Trainspotting TV sequel is set 20 years after the events of the 1996 film and will consist of six episodes.

Speaking to Deadline, Carlyle said: “The prospect of working with Irvine and bringing Francis Begbie to life once more is an absolute gift.”

Irvine Welsh added: “Begbie is Begbie and Robert is the long-term friend and collaborator who inspirationally brought the character to life with his incendiary portrayal.

“To say I’m excited at us reuniting creatively on this project is obviously something of an understatement.”

The Blade Artist novel was published in 2016 and is set in LA and Edinburgh 20 years after the events of Trainspotting, but the programme is still in its development stages.

However, it is being developed by Buccaneer Media, who are currently in post-production of another of Irvine Welsh’s adaptations, Crime.

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Bucaneer Media Limited are known for their work on hit Netlfix and ITV series ‘Marcella’ starring Anna Friel. She picked up an International Emmy Award for Best Actress after starring in the programme.

But with development still in progress from Bucaneer Media, The Blade Artist is still to be attached to a network or streaming service.

As far as the known plot goes for this new series, now known as Jim Francis, Begbie is a reformed character who believes he has found the perfect life.

But a return to Scotland for the funeral of a murdered son he hardly knows confronts him with a past he can barely recall and he soon discovers you can take the boy out of Edinburgh, but you can’t take Edinburgh out of the boy.

Carlyle previously hinted towards reprising the role, telling NME: “Irvine [Welsh] and myself have been chatting quite a lot recently with a couple of excellent producers in London about [continuing the Trainspotting story].

“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.”

“I think we’re thinking about doing it as six one-hour ‘television event piece’, as they say nowadays, whatever that means,” he said.

“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.

“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.”

Carlyle has already reprised the iconic role once in Danny Boyle’s sequel T2, where he spent the majority of his screen time attempting to hunt down Ewan McGregor’s Renton, as well as bonding with his estranged son after breaking out of prison.

However, after a series of somewhat humourous but spectacular outbursts of severe rage in the film, Begbie finds himself right back in prison by the time the credits roll.

There are several novels in Irvine Welsh’s Trainspotting series, which began with the 1993 original, and was followed up with the 2002 sequel Porno (which became T2), 2012 prequel Skagboys, and then a sequel in 2018, Dead Man’s Trousers. 

The Blade Artist follows on from these, focusing on Begbie as he visits his past, so viewers might be able to expect some flashback scenes of the irrationaly violent anti-hero. 

The Herald Scotland

The Herald Scotland

The Herald is a Scottish broadsheet newspaper founded in 1783. The Herald is the longest running national newspaper in the world and is the eighth oldest daily paper in the world. The title was simplified from The Glasgow Herald in 1992