Tainted Love?

This year’s announcement by Danny Boyle to direct Porno, the Trainspotting sequel, gave me a strange feeling of excitement mixed with extreme caution. I am a huge fan of the cult anti-drug Trainspotting and can’t really imagine my teenage years without it. As a reviewer at the time said, it was the Clockwork Orange of my generation; it was that important. Based on the book by Irvine Welsh, Welsh went on to write Porno years later with the story taking place ten years after the events of the original. Why wasn’t it thought of to make a movie of Porno ten years after 1996’s Trainspotting? There seems to be a few reasons but primary is that director Boyle and lead Ewan McGregor fell out over the casting of The Beach in 2000. Boyle “gave the impression” to McGregor that he would be cast as lead character Richard but then opted for box-office favourite Leonardo DiCaprio instead. I can just imagine the studio suits twisting Boyle’s arm on that one. This was a bad choice all-round in the opinion as The Beach‘s character of Richard is English and not American; and DiCaprio just seems out of place in the movie. With time though, Boyle has learned to “stick with your roots” and it seems McGregor has forgiven him; publicly announcing his eagerness to make Porno with a 2016 release date. It is assumed that Robert Carlyle, Jonny Lee Miller, Ewan Bremner and Kelly Macdonald will all rejoin the cast too.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sl6O7sad9hI]

However… is this all a good idea? Seeing as Trainspotting meant so much to people, it may be dangerous to mess with its cult status and a poor sequel could forever tarnish the original by association. Right? Well let’s look at some examples, starting with one of Ewan McGregor’s other projects; a little franchise called Star Wars maybe! There are literally millions of geeks like me that cherished the original Star Wars trilogy. Just recently I’ve been watching the originals on TV  but now there’s a problem. Darth Vader’s extreme coolness has been tainted with the memory that he was once Hayden fuckin’ Christensen, not to mention that annoying little kid in The Phantom Menace who said ‘whoops’ a lot. In The Empire Strikes Back, Obi-Wan’s ghost reminds Yoda how he was so ‘reckless’ when he was younger. Were you? Well Ewan McGregor played you as a boring prick. Instead of the classic spaceship models and Yoda type puppets, we were shovelled endless CGI which looked dated in about a week. I can’t even hear Obi-Wan’s explanation of The Force in A New Hope now without my memory throwing up fragments of Liam Neeson banging on about “Midi-chlorians”. What the… George Lucas, I will genuinely punch you in the back of the head if I ever get the chance.

Even when Spielberg got on board with Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull (really, that’s the title you’re going for?), Lucas still ballsed things up and tarnished yet another cherished franchise. I can only assume that people are afraid to tell millionaires when their work is shit. Indiana Jones was a kind of maverick rogue, with a different girl in every movie. That’s what we loved about him, so why marry the guy off twenty years later. Just leave him be. All this plays into music for me too. Many argue that if you like an album then that should be all there is to it. But for me, I want to be proud of the band or musician themselves to call myself a fan. When I first moved to London I fell in love with Kings of Leon the first time I heard The Bucket. Yes, I stand by the first three albums but do I listen to them much anymore? No, and why? Because Kings of Leon later decided to churn out mindless crowd-pleasing anthems like Use Somebody and Sex on Fire and let their fans down. I still think U2 knocked out some great albums up until Achtung Baby but how can you defend a band that made the Pop album, not to mention gave the world the most-iritating frontman we’ve ever known. So, is there a concluding thought to all this; a decision that I’ve come to after much deliberation? No, not really; I’m still just filled with a feeling of excitement and caution towards the prospect of Porno. I just hope that the people involved in the making of the film understand what its prequel meant to some of us; and that if they can’t produce something that is in the same league then they should just leave it be. Here’s a crazy thought Hollywood, maybe try coming up with some brand new ideas? Imagine such a thing.

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