Filming has already begun on a feature-length portrait of Welsh, planned to be released to coincide with the 30th anniversary of debut novel Trainspotting next year.
Described as a rare glimpse into the mind of a prolific artist at work and play, I Am Irvine Welsh will follow the Edinburgh-born writer during what he has described as the busiest period of his life.
The extended profile is expected to see Welsh working on a new musical version of Trainspotting, a spin-off TV series with Robert Carlyle reviving his iconic character Begbie, The Long Knives, a new novel featuring troubled detective Ray Lennox, a follow-up to Crime, the recent TV series which saw screen star Dougray Scott play Lennox, and a satire on America’s tabloid culture being developed with author Bret Easton Ellis.
The writer is joining forces with Leith-based production company LS Films on the documentary, which it says will confound and challenge perceptions of the writer, and “reveal sides to Welsh known only to his close friends and confidantes”.
It will offer insights into Welsh’s life in Miami, where he has lived for several years, his long-time devotion to Hibernian Football Club, and friendships forged with rock icon Iggy Pop, comic book writer Grant Morrison, singer Lisa Moorish and dance music producer Darren Emerson.
I Am Irvine Welsh is one of several projects being made by LS Films, a new spin-off of LS Productions. Others include a music and travelogue series fronted by American musician Huey Morgan and a profile of Venezuelan boxer Johana Gomez’s bid for her to relocate from her homeland to Edinburgh to pursue her dreams of Olympic glory.
An official announcement on the documentary states: “I Am Irvine Welsh is an illuminating documentary offering a rare glimpse into the mind of a prolific artist at work and play.
“By exploring the books, films and shows cherished by readers and audiences across the world, it weaves a rich tapestry from both contemporary and archive footage, speech, music, book quotations, personal reminiscence, and wickedly funny musings on life.
“It will be a captivating piece of autobiographical cinema about the author of Trainspotting, the controversial, era-defining cult novel that crashed Welsh into our collective consciousness and defined the zeitgeist for a generation.”
Welsh said: “The next two years are going to be the busiest I’ve ever been. I’ve got a new book out in August, another one next year, and probably the year after that too. And a novella. And a TV show. Maybe two or three. Go to musical. And I’ve set up a record label.
“This documentary will follow me at work and at play and provide a glimpse into my creative process across books, screenplays, and music.
“So if you aren’t already bored as f**k with me, you soon will be.”
Director, Paul Sng, a British-Chinese filmmaker based in Edinburgh, said: “We’re excited to be working with one of the great storytellers of our time, who has remained urgent and relevant since the day he was first published.
“As a writer known for being innovative and non-conventional, it’s only fitting that Irvine should be the subject of a documentary that also challenges and confounds audience expectations.”
George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.