When the first Trainspotting was released in the U.S. in 1996, the film came under attack from U.S. politician Bob Dole, then on a presidential campaign, who said that it "glorified heroin."
While the move may have ultimately not helped the Republican candidate (he lost), his denouncement of Danny Boyle's film - a film that Dole admitted he had not seen - gave the low-budget British indie a rather handy popularity boost. Trainspotting snatched the highest per-screen average during its U.S. launch week and went on to earn $16 million, quickly becoming a cult classic.
Now, 21 years on, Trainspotting author Irvine Welsh would like to see a similar thing happen for the long-awaited sequel, T2: Trainspotting, which Sony is releasing in the U.S. on five screens this Friday before taking it wide later this month. The film has already broken records in the U.K., becoming Boyle's best opening.
"[Bob Dole] was a great thing for us, because that's what you want," Welsh said, speaking to The Hollywood Reporter. "Donald Trump would be the ideal guy to come along and say, 'I hate this movie.' But there must be someone. I keep hoping Mike Pence sees it by accident and comments on it. But right-wing politicians never get suckered as much as they used to."
Speaking to The Hollywood Reporter for an oral history of the original Trainspotting ahead of the sequel's screening in Berlin last month, Welsh said that for the launch of any book or film, you wanted two things. "You want the approval of cool people and the condemnation of an asshole," he said. "The condemnation of a prominent asshole is absolutely fantastic."