American Psycho Reboot  Reportedly Being Made by Lionsgate

American Psycho Reboot  Reportedly Being Made by Lionsgate

Lionsgate is planning to make a modern-day reboot of American Psycho, and is currently searching for a writer to pen the new iteration, according to The Insneider. The reboot will update the satirical psychological horror film, which was set in the late 1980s and released in 2000, to more contemporary times.

The original movie was co-written and directed by Mary Harron. The drama starred Christian Bale as the titular anti-hero, which helped garner him mainstream recognition worldwide. The Oscar winner’s character, Patrick Bateman, is a New York City investment banker who leads a double life as a serial killer.

American Psycho satirized yuppie culture and the group’s obsession with consumerism in the 1980s. Lionsgate‘s new proposed remake will reportedly use the same formula, and therefore satirize young urban professionals’ lives in the early 2010s.

The news of the proposed reboot comes after Bret Easton Ellis, who penned the 1991 novel that the acclaimed screen adaptation is based on, wrote an article about his work for Town & Country magazine in 2016. In his tribute to the 25th anniversary of the book’s publication, he reflected on a question he was frequently asked: what would Patrick Bateman be doing in the modern day?

In the mid-to-late ’90s, Ellis thought that Bateman “would have been the founder of a number of dotcoms.” Or, if the scribe had written the novel  in the decade leading up to 2016, “Bateman would have been working in Silicon Valley […] palling around with Zuckerberg and dining at the French Laundry […] wearing a Yeezy hoodie and teasing girls on Tinder.”

Ellis further wrote: “All the themes of the book still hold sway three decades later. We are in a time when the one percent are richer than any human has been before, an era when a jet is the new car and million-dollar rents are the reality. New York today is American Psycho on steroids.”

Speaking to Vice about the film’s 20th anniversary during the spring of 2020, Ellis recalled his reaction to the book receiving a screen adaptation. He said he thought the novel being turned into a movie was “very surprising” to him because he didn’t think it fit with mainstream American cinema.

“There was nobody in line asking to buy American Psycho or option it, except for one producer, and that was Ed Pressman,” Ellis revealed further noted.

Pressman, was “obsessed” with turning the book into a feature, and kept optioning the rights, year after year. Even Ellis’ own agents thought nothing would ever develop from the producer buying the story’s screen rights.

Harron herself was also “intrigued” by the novel’s story, but had doubts of her own when she was eventually approached by the film’s production company. “I wasn’t sure if I could make a movie out of it, but I said, ‘I’ll write a script and I’ll see,'” she revealed.

The movie was ultimately enough of a box office success that its Lionsgate, which distributed it in theaters in April 2000, greenlit a stand-alone sequel, American Psycho II: All American Girl. However, the follow-up had nothing to do with its predecessor, except for the eponymous protagonist claiming she killed Patrick Bateman after he murdered her babysitter.

Lionsgate initially planned to distribute the supposed sequel in theaters, but ultimately instead released it straight to video. Ellis denounced the film, and Mila Kunis later expressed regret for starring in the project as the titular anti-hero.

Ahead of American Psycho‘s proposed reboot, Ellis also revealed during an interview with The Guardian in 2010 that Lionsgate considered giving American Psycho the NCIS treatment: “They were thinking about doing ‘American Psycho In LA, American Psycho In Las Vegas, and making a whole franchise out of it.”

But the franchise was never developed, however, in part because in Ellis’ book, Patrick Bateman is drawn to pure transgressive art, a characteristic that was used to warn readers about consumer culture. The anti-hero embraced the art in part to showcase his sexist nature, which further elaborated the shallow and vicious aspects of materialism and superficiality.

As a result, at the time of its release, American Psycho was attacked by notable feminists for its violence against women. With society greatly changing its morals and ideals in the almost quarter century since the film’s theatrical release, Lionsgate is expected to leave out those elements in its potential reboot.

Check out more of Karen Benardello’s articles.


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