In a special episode of SBS ' new culture podcast, The Playlist, Danny Boyle talks about the joys and fears of 'getting the band back together' to make a sequel to 1996's Trainspotting.
In the audio interview below, Fiona Williams (pictured) leads with the acknowledgement that fans of the first film might harbour fears that the sequel "could be crap". Boyle openly acknowledges those fears, and says, "We knew our instincts were not to repeat the formula".
“[It's about] our quality threshold," he says. "Me and the writer, we knew we weren’t going to tip into it for commercial reasons. We came up with something that’s much more personal, in a way.”
The sequel brings back the four original characters (and a fifth, for a cameo), to catch up on the 20 years that have passed since Mark Renton (Ewan McGregor) made off with their money. His return to Edinburgh triggers an uneasy reunion with his former junkie mates, for whom, unsurprisingly, time hasn't been kind.
"The one thing you didn’t care about in your 20s, is time," Boyle explains. "[It's] that recklessness, that feeling of indestructibility. It didn’t affect your behaviour. They've now realised time doesn’t care about them. It’s catch-up time, it’s the reckoning, triggered by Renton returning."
Where T2: Trainspotting succeeds where so many recent sequels have failed, is in not indulging in nostalgia for nostalgia's sake. For Boyle, this was vital.
"You have to be careful - you can drown in [nostalgia] very quickly. From being something you step into you can suddenly find you’ve drowned in it.
"You have to have a bullshit detector that says, 'Watch out for the nostalgia thing!'."
Elsewhere in the interview, Boyle talks about his fascination for using flashbacks in is films, and he explains how he buried the hatchet with Ewan McGregor after a 10 year feud that began when McGregor was dropped from The Beach in favour of Leonardo DiCaprio.
Listen to the full interview below: