Horror fans loved the film version of Bret Easton Ellis’ infamous novel American Psycho. Both the novel and the film are utterly addictive head-trips, dark wormholes into American corporate and popular culture. Patrick Bateman of “Pierce and Pierce Mergers and Acquisitions” embodied the commodity fetishism of American yuppie culture, the hollowness of corporate culture in general, the often deep-rooted misogyny of a certain version of “successful” American masculinity. Truly a monster of the times in the 1990s…and now.
And Christian Bale as Patrick Bateman? He nailed it. A cold, precise, utterly empty, dead-eyed monster who, clearly, works out a lot. Naked with a chainsaw, discussing his favorite Genesis albums (the worst ones), slaughtering his victims like cattle. A pitch perfect, absorbing, terrifying performance.
So, lots of us were less than happy with the news that the film might get a remake. Uncertainty turned to horror (the bad kind) when the twitterverse exploded over an exchange between Ellis and Scott Disick regarding just how suitable Disick might be for the role of Bateman. If you don’t know who Disick happens to be, congratulations. He’s Kurtney Kardashian’s arm candy/sperm donor and slightly resembles Christian Bale (if Bale dressed like a waiter on a Cruise ship and went on an all-cheetos diet for a week or two). And Ellis seems to want him to play Bateman.
Ok, but look. Ellis loves to poke people in the eye, yank chains, wave middle fingers at the world. In fact, this seems almost his major literary theme. So, I wouldn’t put too much stock in this, or any, twitter exchange.
Also, lets wait and see what the remake really turns out to be. If it’s a reimagining of a great American novel, twenty years old this year, then it deserves more than a look.
Listen, I distrust remakes as much as the next nerd but saw a good one recently (the new Fright Night that I review for PopMatters here). So, I suspend judgment. Unless Disick really does play Bateman. At which point I will go American psycho.