Noble Jones, a director who so far can only lay claim to music video credits, commercials, and second unit work on The Social Network, is planning to make his feature film debut with a new version of American Psycho, the 1991 novel first brought to the screen in 2000 with Christian Bale in the lead role.
Deadline say that Jones has already written a screenplay for the film and given that to Lionsgate, who own the remake rights. If it goes ahead, the film will be in the “microbudget” range. Vague.
The plan is to set this version in the modern day, in order to explore how protagonist Patrick Bateman would cope in contemporary New York.
This opens up interesting possibilities, since the original was set in one of Wall Street’s particularly affluent eras, with Bateman and friends living the high life of supermodels and cocaine, whereas a 21st century Bateman would presumably be dealing with the banking crisis and perhaps even the Occupy movement.
Those of you who have read Bret Easton Ellis’ novel will know that the extreme and graphic nature of the sex and violence in the book was largely toned down for Mary Harron’s movie, likely in order to avoid an NC-17 rating.
It’s a funny film, but the disturbing elements became a little lost, especially compared to some of the content we’re seeing in horror movies today. If I were to put one thing on my wishlist for this remake, it would be to see this “down and dirty” version push the envelope a little more in terms of both the sex and violence.
Maybe leave the scene with the brie out, though. I don’t think anyone needs to see that on the big screen.
If the project is greenlit it’s likely to be fairly controversial. Harron’s adaptation is generally very well-loved and deservedly so, and there will be those who argue that it won’t be possible to improve on Christian Bale as Patrick Bateman.
I’m going to wait and see how (and if) things develop before giving an opinion. Which is to say, I’d give an opinion now, but I have to return some videotapes.