Buccaneer Media, the indie behind Marcella (ITV/ Netflix) and Crime (Britbox), is in development to produce a TV adaptation of Irvine Welsh’s The Blade Artist.

The Blade Artist will see Robert Carlyle reprise his role as the ultra-violent Francis Begbie who he first played in Trainspotting, in a 6 x 60’ TV adaptation of Welsh’s 2016 novel.

Set in Los Angeles and Edinburgh, The Blade Artist picks up 20 years after the events of Trainspotting. Frank Begbie, now known as Jim Francis has finally found the perfect life – and is unrecognisable, even to himself. A successful painter and sculptor, he lives quietly with his wife, Melanie, and their two young daughters, in an affluent beach town in California. Some say he’s a fake and a con man, while others see him as a genuine artistic visionary.

But Jim Francis has a very dark past, with another identity and a very different set of values. A return to Scotland for the funeral of a murdered son he hardly knew confronts him with a past he can barely recall. But Scotland is a long way from California and as Jim Francis soon discovers, you can take the boy out of Edinburgh, but you can’t take Edinburgh out of the boy; for this is Frank Begbie’s town.

Irvine Welsh, Robert Carlyle and Buccaneer’s Tony Wood and Richard Tulk-Hart will serve as Executive Producers.

“Begbie is Begbie and Bobby 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” said Irvine Welsh.

“Over 20 years ago I was privileged to be asked to play a character that subsequently became such a huge part of my life. The prospect of working with Irvine and bringing Francis Begbie to life once more is an absolute gift” said Robert Carlyle.

“’Trainspotting’ is a landmark in British culture: the deeply loved novels and films have attained iconic status and Robert Carlyle’s Begbie is an anti-hero lodged in the heart of multiple generations across the globe. Working with Irvine and Bobby on this next story in the ‘Trainspotting’ universe is a thrill and a privilege. We simply can’t wait to serve this up to the millions of hungry fans out there” said Buccaneer Media joint CEOs Richard Tulk-Hart and Tony Wood.

Buccaneer is also currently in post-production on ‘Crime’, Irvine Welsh’s first novel adapted for TV for Britbox. The company also has several soon-to-be-announced projects in development with international partners.

(Image Buccaneer Media – Richard Tulk-Hart (l) and Tony Wood)

Jon Creamer

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