Thursday, December 8, 2011

It's Psychotic

This was certainly bizarre news to wake up to today. It turns out that a remake of American Psycho is in the works over at Lionsgate. It's being positioned as a "modern day re-imagining", which is just as terrifying a concept as an out-and-out remake. I was entirely on board for the Broadway musical adaptation, but this is just ridiculous to the nth degree.

I remember being disappointed, but hardly surprised, when the Spider-Man franchise was given the reboot only a few years after the original trilogy concluded (and some ten years after the first film brought about a new wave of box office records), but to redo the eleven-year-old American Psycho doesn't make any sense to me whatsoever. It's not even like Mary Harron's brilliant 2000 horror-comedy was particularly popular - it's place in pop culture relies solely to its cast of Christian Bale, Reese Witherspoon and Jared Leto. It was my number three film of the decade, so to say I haven't the highest of hopes is to put it mildly.

I also can't help but feel that a modern day interpretation would be completely besides the point of both Bret Easton Ellis' novel, and Harron's satire adaptation. Harron's film was hardly the most faithful book-to-film we've ever seen, but it took the novel's heart, it's cold, brutal satire of the late 1980s consumerism, and turned it into a palatable, visually striking affair. Sure, we hardly needed to be reminded of 1989 excess, but do we really need an American Psycho for the "occupied generation"? We all know Wall Street is screwed up, so why tell us again in the guise of this brand-hopping remake?

I weep for the modernised take on scenes that featured the music of Huey Lewis and the News, Genesis and Whitney Houston. What are the modern day pop icons that "David Fincher protege" Noble Jones can twist into recalibrated symbols of decadence? Lady Gaga? LMFAO? Doubtful. What horror movies will this modern day Patrick Bateman watch on blu-ray as he does his crunches and metrosexualises himself? I guess that's where the term "torture porn" really will get its due.


Ben Rylan said...

Yeah, agreed, it's highly unlikely that a remake would hit the mark. BUT, I was discussing the other day how instead of comparing business cards, the modern day Patrick Bateman would probably be comparing phones. The hatred he would feel towards Android users would be quite interesting.

theoncominghope said...

Terrible news. I'm on record as saying that the movie took what is, frankly, not a very good book and turned it into a masterpiece in film form. I can't see for the life of me what this could POSSIBLY be added by the lead soundtracking his mayhem with Lady Gaga instead of Huey Lewis.

theoncominghope said...

I wrote about it on my blog as well, with a hat tip to you:

Jez In Dallas said...

If it's any consolation, Bret Easton Ellis mentioned on twitter that he would only agree to it if Miles Fisher or... some other gent would be the star. The other name escapes me at the moment and I can't twitter at work. I don't know if he has that kind of control over it, but maybe!

Dimitrios Zapris said...

Christian Bale's portrayal of Patrick Bateman will be incredibly difficult to top! He really got under the skin of that role and the movie was very solid. I think that if there is a remake of American Psycho, then it should be made by a film director that can truly capture the absolute dark, superficial, and unfeeling world of the main character in the novel.