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An American Psycho Remake is Headed our Way

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This news makes me sad. Why must Hollywood continue exploiting the library classics!?

Deadline is reporting that Noble Jones, a commercial director & who directed music videos for Taylor Swift and Mary J. Blige and was also part of the second unit for David Fincher’s “The Social Network” will be making his directorial debut with a low-budget “American Psycho” remake.

Jones actually pitched the project months ago to Lionsgate, which holds the remake rights and turned in a script a month ago.

Jones hopes to take Bret Easton Ellis’ novel and turn it into a down and dirty new version that imagines how yuppie serial killer Patrick Bateman would fare in New York today, factoring in how the world has changed since the 2000 film that starred Christian Bale. *Face palm.* So, it’s no longer the study of the excessive ’80s  but a film set in 2011…. about a serial killer businessman? Kinda pinches the whole balloon, right?

Here’s how Ellis’ novel is described:

In American Psycho, Bret Easton Ellis imaginatively explores the incomprehensible depths of madness and captures the insanity of violence in our time or any other. Patrick Bateman moves among the young and trendy in 1980s Manhattan. Young, handsome, and well educated, Bateman earns his fortune on Wall Street by day while spending his nights in ways we cannot begin to fathom. Expressing his true self through torture and murder, Bateman prefigures an apocalyptic horror that no society could bear to confront.

The original 2000 film starred Christian Bale (& he was freakin’ fantastic in it) and followed Bale as a wealthy New York investment banking executive who hides his alternate psychopathic ego from his co-workers and friends as he escalates deeper into his illogical, gratuitous fantasies.  Bale, as you’ll recall, actually replaced Leonardo DiCaprio in the film.

The 2000 film also starred Willem Dafoe, Josh Lucas, Justin Theroux, Chloë Sevigny, Jared Leto and Reese Witherspoon.

Clint did a great interview series a year or so back called Caffeinated Clint Greats, and one of the films he profiled was “American Psycho”. Christian Bale, one of the earliest supporters of Moviehole (and someone I believe Clint knows quite well?), participated in the profile and spoke a little about what the role of Bateman did for his career :

Caffeinated Clint : Do you think “American Psycho” revived your career?Christian Bale : It definitely helped, man. Before American Psycho, I was mostly offered costume dramas and I felt I was headed to Merchant Ivorydom.

Caffeinated Clint : Not that there’s anything wrong with that [Laughs]

Christian Bale : Yeah, but after American Psycho, I get more American roles, darker roles and physical roles. American Psycho has become my calling card in many ways. I am forever in Mary Harron’s debt!

Caffeinated Clint : Is it true Roger Avary asked you to reprise Patrick Bateman for “Rules of Attraction”?

Christian Bale : Yeah, but I’m very loyal to Mary Harron – she wrote and directed American Psycho. I felt that her Bateman – our Bateman – was in his entirety in the first film. I’ve been offered a number of cameos as Bateman in other related films and I felt that it would be a disservice to take the character out of the context we had developed.

And Clint suggested that the film did distance itself from the book but still worked :

”I think we (Mary Harron and I) made the film we wanted to”, star Christian Bale says of the feature film adaptation of Bret Easton Ellis’ phenomenal book. ”Unfortunately, in the US, there was all this silly business about the ratings so the US theatrical release was snipped over a couple sex scenes”. Bale was right; there was a lot of unripe comments floating around about “American Psycho” prior to its release – it was too dirty, too violent (Huey Lewis & The News asked for their song, Hip to be Square, to be removed from the soundtrack because they’d ‘heard’ it was a grisly picture) and, they said, not a shade on the book. As a consequence, the satirical thriller was heavily edited in some territories, and ultimately pushed through cinemas quicker than a Hoover. But like Bale, I loved what director Mary Harron did with “Psycho” – she distilled the humour from the book and create a script with a distinct point of view. And in my opinion, Bale has never been better – his Patrick Bateman is one of the most deliciously fun characters of the past ten years.I’ve returned to “American Psycho” many times, and aren’t planning on packing the DVD away in my “probably won’t watch these movies again in a hurry” cabinet any time soon.

Do you guys like the idea of “American Psycho” getting a remake? I sure don’t.

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