"Irvine Welsh who wrote Trainspotting said it was the best thing he'd seen in years." Watch the trailer for Kneecap's self-titled biopic, the loudest, funniest, most provocative movie you'll see in 2024

(Image credit: Sacha Lecca/Rolling Stone via Getty Images)

The official trailer for Belfast rap trio Kneecap's self-titled biopic has been released.

“Based on the origin story of the riotous and ground-breaking Irish-language rap trio Kneecap, the film stars the band’s Mo Chara, Móglaí Bap and DJ Próvaí in their acting debuts,” an official synopsis for the film reads. “Set in West Belfast in 2019, it chronicles how fate brings the trio together and how they then go on to ‘change the sound of Irish music forever’.”

Talking with Louder, the Irish trio admit that they were more than a little bit sceptical when first approached by writer/director Rich Peppiattto with the idea of doing a film  - "The English have a reputation for exploiting the Irish" DJ Próvaí says with a smile - but ultimately Peppiattto's persistence, openness and enthusiasm for the project convinced that band that his intentions were sincere. 

"We were obviously protective because if the movie was shite, we still have to be the band Kneecap," says Móglaí Bap, "whereas everyone else who was involved would walk away to their next project. We were conscious that if it's shit, we'd be kinda fucked."

Fortunately, the film, co-written by the band and Peppiattto, and starring celebrated Irish actor Michael Fassbender (Hunger/Shame/The Killer), has had nothing but rave reviews. The first Irish language film ever to premiere at the prestigious Sundance film festival in Utah, it won the festival's Audience Award, and was hailed by industry bible Variety as "bursting with unruly energy."

The band admit that not everyone will understand every North of Ireland-specific joke in the script, but point to Trainspotting and acclaimed Netflix drama Top Boy as examples of dramas with their own specific slang which have transcended their national origins to become huge worldwide successes.

"Irvine Welsh who wrote Trainspotting went and saw it and said it was the best fucking thing he'd seen in years," says Móglaí Bap. "That was nice to hear. Our film was massively influenced by Trainspotting... just with less heroin!"

Watch the trailer for Kneecap below.

Kneecap will be released in Ireland on August 8, and in the UK on August 23. Dates for screenings worldwide will be announced soon, though the film will not be shown in Israel, as a protest against the on-going genocide in Palestine. 

The band's debut album, Fine Art, will be released on June 14 via Heavenly. It features guest appearances from Fontaines D.C. vocalist Grian Chatten, Lankum’s Radie Peat, and rapper Jelani Blackman, among others.

Look out for a full interview with Kneecap on Louder next week. 

Paul Brannigan
Contributing Editor, Louder

A music writer since 1993, formerly Editor of Kerrang! and Planet Rock magazine (RIP), Paul Brannigan is a Contributing Editor to Louder. Having previously written books on Lemmy, Dave Grohl (the Sunday Times best-seller This Is A Call) and Metallica (Birth School Metallica Death, co-authored with Ian Winwood), his Eddie Van Halen biography (Eruption in the UK, Unchained in the US) emerged in 2021. He has written for Rolling Stone, Mojo and Q, hung out with Fugazi at Dischord House, flown on Ozzy Osbourne's private jet, played Angus Young's Gibson SG, and interviewed everyone from Aerosmith and Beastie Boys to Young Gods and ZZ Top. Born in the North of Ireland, Brannigan lives in North London and supports The Arsenal.