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Exclusive: New Trailer For 'Irvine Welsh's Ecstasy'

by Kevin Jagernauth
August 26, 2011 7:47 AM
14 Comments
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Irvine Welsh & Director Rob Heydon Talk About Bringing The Adaptation To Life



When Danny Boyle delivered the groundbreaking "Trainspotting" it proved that the unique language, tenor and prose of Scottish writer Irvine Welsh could be brought to the big screen with both style and substance. An adaptation of "The Acid House" soon followed and "Filth" is gearing up to shoot next year, and the next Welsh story to hit the big screen will be "Ecstasy." But it was no easy journey.

The project has been in development for more than a decade, with financing coming and going before it was finally locked into place, with Kristin Kreuk, Billy Boyd, Adam Sinclair, Colin Mochrie and Dean McDermott coming on board to star. "Irvine Welsh's Ecstasy" follows Heather (Kreuk) and Lloyd (Sinclair) as they explore a chemical romance and discover whether their love for one another is real or not. Surrounding the story is a thriller that dives into the politics and lifestyles of the clubbers and gangsters, along with the good and the evil that comes with their world. The Playlist is premiering the brand new trailer for the film which you can see below, and we recently caught up with director Rob Heydon and author Irvine Welsh to talk about the project.

Welsh fans are probably already aware that "Ecstasy" was previously adapted into a stage play by Canadian playwright Keith Wyatt. While the initial plan was to use that work as a the foundation for the film, Heydon reveals they soon went back to the source. "So we want back to the book and went through fifty drafts of the script at least to really figure out what works [and] what doesn't work," the director said. "And then we had to mine the book for the subtext. And the book is boy-meets-girl, boy-loses-girl, boy-gets-girl-back all in the last five pages. And other than that, it's [alternating] chapters of their lives and how they're destined to meet one day, so that doesn't really work for a film. So we had to change the structure quite a bit and add the gangster element."

"We gave [Lloyd's character arc] a bit more of a through line and a motivation for why this character wants to change his life," Heydon explained about the changes from the page to screen. "That [club/drug] lifestyle is not sustainable in the long term. Heather brings a motivation to change, but also confronts him about why he's still doing this in his mid-30s. Why he's still partying like [he's] 16."

But at the end of the day, the story is less about drugs and more about the broader picture of their effect on relationships and even the perception of life. "It's a transformational love story going from the love of ecstasy of the drug to the ecstasy of love," Heydon says. "A lot of people think it's 'Oh, it's Irvine Welsh, it's going to be about drugs' and that's it, and sort of write it off at face value. It's really about different states of modality and what is ecstasy and how do we get there and how do we live in a state of ecstasy every day."

As for Welsh, he didn't mind having his work being tinkered with, as he believes he didn't get "Ecstasy" quite the he way he wanted on the page. "[It] kind of turned out to be formally kind of a straighter book than i wanted it to be -- it's much more of a straight-down-the-line-story -- and I wanted it to be a bit more trippy than that," the author explained. "That was my disappointment in the book, it wasn't realized quite the way I wanted it to....To me it was very much realized as a stage play...to me it worked better on the stage than on the page...so I was excited about what would happen if it was given the cinematic treatment."

With Heydon's background in music videos and knowledge of the club world, Welsh had no reservations that he was the man for the job. "I was excited when Rob came on and wanted to do it because he was kind of steeped in that culture," he said adding, "If that sensibility could be married to the kind of storytelling that was in the book, it would kind of work in the way that I would wanted the [book] to work."

But still, it must be a little odd to hand your baby to someone else and Welsh gives an interesting description of what it was like to have his work developed into something brand new. "It's brilliant, it's just great. It's kind of weird...it's almost like you kind of discover you had this child in your teens that you didn't know about and they come back and visit you, " he said. "And you know they have something to do with you, but they totally had their own life experience and were growing in their own direction, you've had no influence or control over that...It's uplifting but a slightly kind of scary and disconcerting experience as well."

But for diehard admirers of the book, Heydon assures that not everything has been touched. "We kept all the best gems from the book. There is some amazing characters and dialogue and scenes in the book that we didn't want to change at all because Irvine has such a distinct voice," he says.

Of course, no Welsh film is complete with out a great soundtrack and "Ecstasy" will have tunes from Coldplay, Primal Scream, Tiesto, Deadmau5, Bonjay, The Mahones, Hawksley Workman and more to keep things moving. No word just yet on a release date, but a get a taste of what's to come with the trailer below.

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14 Comments

  • Finny McConnell | December 2, 2011 12:43 AMReply

    This is going to be amazing!

  • tommy castle | September 9, 2011 9:17 AMReply

    bad Scottish accents and horrible trailer

  • Scott123 | August 28, 2011 4:59 AMReply

    I wonder how many haters here have actually tried to make a movie, to go through the whole process and then subject themselves to the slings and arrows of the masses. This is an independent film. Made by people who see film making more as an art than a product. I will not criticize Rob Heydon who has put blood, sweat, and tears into making this. However, I don't mind criticizing someone like Michael Bay who was handed 160 million dollars to make a movie and still ended up with camera shadows in his final cut. Do not be so quick to judge my fellow lovers of film, when it's just you and not a studio, the work is alot harder and you truly better love it.
    I for one read and loved the book, I am a fan of "The Kreuk" and I am really looking forward to this film. :-)

  • Jessie | August 28, 2011 4:39 AMReply

    yes! i agree with you scott! :) i loved the book and i think i'll love the movie

  • Wins | August 27, 2011 10:41 AMReply

    Actually I see this is the updated version of the trailer with dialogue. I think it still looks okay even if the trailer looks like it could have been cut a little better.

  • Wins | August 27, 2011 9:58 AMReply

    Its kind of hard to judge anything off a trailer with no dialogue. I hope Kristin Kreuk is good in it. She's kind of had hit or miss performances and while changing the origin of the her character may anger some readers of the book, that was done at Welsh's blessing who was on set to oversee everything.

    It's obviously going to look low budget since its an indie movie from a first time director, but I'm hoping its still comes out OK. It does have a generic rave/drug movie look, but still looks relatively fine for a small budget film to me.

  • 1993 | August 27, 2011 5:08 AMReply

    The soundtrack is so disappointing! Tiesto, Deadmau5? Come on... get some proper/of-the-time techno in there.

    Where & when is the setting in film adaptation? I wonder as K.K. doesn't play Welsh, and there are so many Canadian actors in it. I haven't read the book, but I thought it was set in the UK in the early-mid '90s?

  • interesting. | August 27, 2011 5:02 AMReply

    I think it's superficial express so detailed opinions (of course negative),only having seen a trailer. you should watch the movie, or at least inform you better.
    the film looks promising, it seems very interesting, is not the usual story of drugs. the script is very accurate and the cast looks great.
    The trailer looks good to me, whereas this is not the official one...

  • Carl | August 27, 2011 4:44 AMReply

    WOW! i can't wait to see it! Kristin Kreuk looks great.

  • Mr. Arkadin | August 27, 2011 3:35 AMReply

    Chun-Li and hobbits do drugs, I knew it... looks like one of those films that try way to hard and end up very generic - one could badly pun it to be Gridlock'd -, instead of going the "Human Traffic" route and be fucking fun!

  • BradZuhl | August 27, 2011 3:20 AMReply

    Tecno music! Drugs! Sex! Violence! How outrageous! This looks like one of the most boring, generic things I've seen in a long time.

  • StephenM | August 27, 2011 1:15 AMReply

    This looks pretty lousy. Really low-budget, badly-shot, badly-acted. Not sure what other commenters are talking about.

  • Jimmy | August 26, 2011 8:55 AMReply

    really great!! Kristin Kreuk is simply amazing!

  • me | August 26, 2011 8:33 AMReply

    OMG looks amazing! i can't wait to see it!

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