Trainspotting TV Sequel The Blade Artist Sees Robert Carlyle Returning

Begbie returns! Robert Carlyle is playing the notorious Francis Begbie again in a TV series adaptation of Irvine Welsh's Trainspotting sequel novel The Blade Artist. Begbie is the role that put Carlyle on the map back in 1996 when Danny Boyle's movie of the hit novel came out, a raging, terrifying psychopath who would viciously beat up someone at the drop of a hat. Now, more than 25 years on from that star turn, Carlyle will be executive producer and star as a reformed, older, mellowed Begbie in the 6-part miniseries, which is being developed by Buccaneer Media.

The Knife Artist: Robert Carlyle Stars in Trainspotting TV Sequel
Still from "The Blade Artist", a sequel to "Trainspotting", courtesy of Buccaneer Media

The Blade Artist novel was published in 2016 and is set in LA and Edinburgh 20 years after the events of Trainspotting, the 1993 book that was adapted into a cult film by Danny Boyle three years later. In 2017, Boyle made T2: Trainspotting 2, a direct sequel to the first movie which adapted Welsh's 2002 sequel novel Porno, which was set 10 years after the first Trainspotting.  The original cast returned in that movie as well, including Carlyle as Begbie, who was then serving a prison sentence for violent crimes and as terrifying as ever, for understandable reasons, which did not make him any less terrifying. The Walking Dead's Negan is a teddy bear compared to Begbie.

In The Blade Artist, Begbie is a reformed character now known as Jim Francis who believes he has found the perfect life as a successful artist. But a return to Scotland for the funeral of a murdered son he hardly knows forces him to confront a past he can barely recall and soon discovers you can take the boy out of Edinburgh, but you can't take Edinburgh out of the boy.

As reported by Deadline, Carlyle and Welsh are executive-producing alongside Buccaneer Media CEO duo Tony Wood and Richard Tulk-Hart, and the project is not yet attached to a TV network or streamer. Carlyle said the "prospect of working with Irvine and bringing Francis Begbie to life once more is an absolute gift." 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 can be considered the third part of the Trainspotting Trilogy (no one has called it a trilogy), though Welsh could still revisit the characters in a new novel if the fancy strikes him.

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About Adi Tantimedh

Adi Tantimedh is a filmmaker, screenwriter and novelist. He wrote radio plays for the BBC Radio, “JLA: Age of Wonder” for DC Comics, “Blackshirt” for Moonstone Books, and “La Muse” for Big Head Press. Most recently, he wrote “Her Nightly Embrace”, “Her Beautiful Monster” and “Her Fugitive Heart”, a trilogy of novels featuring a British-Indian private eye published by Atria Books, a division Simon & Schuster.
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