Trainspotting is a British black comedy crime drama released in 1996. It was directed by Danny Boyle and started Ewan McGregor.
The movie was based on the novel of the same name by Irvine Welsh. Producer Andrew Macdonald read the book on an aeroplane journey in December 1993 and felt immediately that it could be made into a film. He persuaded director Danny Boyle and writer John Hodge to join the production in February 1994. Boyle found the project immediately exciting and believed it to have the potential to be the most energetic movie ever made. Hodge's goal for the movie was to produce a screenplay that would convey the content and spirit of the book. Danny Boyle wrote to the book's author Irvine Welsh and told him that they did not want to make a movie for the art-house audience; they wanted to make a film that everyone would see.
Ewan McGregor was the only cast member who was cast in advance; Boyle wanted a repulsively charming character and a shaven-headed McGregor fulfilled this role. The remaining actors were cast after auditioning with the exception of Kelly McDonald who was cast after responding to a casting flyer posted in a nightclub; the director wanted an unknown for her role so that the audience would not know a 19-year-old was playing the part of a fourteen-year-old.
The movie was about a group of heroin addicts in Edinburgh but much of the filming took place in run-down areas of Glasgow. Beyond drug addiction the film strove to show the juxtaposition of poverty and squalor against the cultural richness of Edinburgh.
Trainspotting was nominated for an Academy Award for John Hodge's screenplay and has been ranked 10th by the British Film Institute in its list of the 100 Greatest British Movies of all time.