We’re heading back to the ’80s when Bret Easton Ellis’ American Psycho makes another mark on our society with a Broadway play! Based on the acclaimed novel starring Patrick Bateman, the story follows a wealthy New York investment banking executive hides his alternate psychopathic ego from his co-workers and friends as he escalates deeper into his illogical, gratuitous fantasies. In 2000, Lionsgate released a feature film adaptation, which starred Christian Bale as Bateman. Read on for the info and chime in on your thoughts.
American Psycho, the controversial social satire from acclaimed novelist Bret Easton Ellis, which was adapted into a feature film in 2000 top-lining “Dark Knight” star Christian Bale, will be adapted for the stage. The Johnson-Roessler Company, The Collective and XYZ Films have partnered to acquire, develop and produce the live stage version.
American Psycho delves into the designer lifestyle and twisted mind of Patrick Bateman, a wealthy, young and handsome Wall Street investment banker in 1980s Manhattan. Whether applying an herb-mint facial masque during his morning routine, comparing business cards with his colleagues at Pierce & Pierce or attempting to get a reservation at restaurant hot-spot Dorsia, Bateman’s obsessively materialistic behavior fills his days. By night, his mask of sanity slips into a world of drugs, prostitution and murder.
The Johnson-Roessler Company’s David Johnson, Craig Roessler and Jesse Singer, who brought the project to the company, are producing alongside The Collective’s Aaron Ray and XYZ Films’ Nate Bolotin. Ellis and Edward R. Pressman will serve as consulting producers. No dramatists have yet been confirmed. Original music will revive the nostalgia of the 80′s alongside celebrated hits from the era.
“American Psycho continues to be a cultural phenomenon,” said David Johnson. “Ellis’ book contains so many memorable lines and musical references that a live musical production is the perfect fit. The character of Patrick Bateman has become an icon for fans of Ellis’ book and the film adaptation, and now we can bring this dark but comical world of greed to the stage in an entertaining and thought-provoking way.”
Ellis’ 1991 satire ignited a major controversy due to its graphic depiction of violence. The book was originally scheduled for publication by Simon & Schuster, but the company balked due to outrage driven by massive publicity in advance of its release. Vintage, an imprint of Random House, bought the rights to the book and published it soon thereafter. The book, which shocked the nation and defined the decade, has sold over 1.6 million copies worldwide.
“This is the perfect storm of creative people to turn American Psycho into an entertaining musical play,” said Ellis. “American Psycho’s essence is the high-flying 80s, the decadence and the music — together, they are the equivalent of a spectacular train wreck you have to watch.”
There has been a recent influx of successful novel-to-Broadway adaptations. Amanda Brown’s Legally Blonde has become an audience favorite and Gregory Maguire’s Wicked has broken box office records in addition to selling well over 1 million soundtrack units.
“It is clear that there is a resurgence of 1980s music with many of today’s top selling acts as they are turning back to the hits of the time for inspiration on style and sound,” says Nate Bolotin. “Ellis’ musical references to bands like Talking Heads, Genesis and Huey Lewis and The News fill entire chapters of the book, and we believe a live musical rendition will give fans and new audiences a chance to experience the story in a whole new way.”
This is the Johnson-Roessler Company’s first foray into live theatrical productions.
Ellis is repped by ICM and managed by Media Talent Group.
About The Johnson-Roessler Company
The Johnson-Roessler Company was formed in 2006, by philanthropist and former MGM senior executive David Johnson and former MGM TV executive Craig Roessler, The Johnson-Roessler Company is committed to bringing entertaining and provocative stories in all of its forms including Film, TV, DVD, Documentaries and Live Theater to audiences around the world. The Company believes that through entertainment it can produce socially and politically relevant stories that create understanding, stir passion and generate change.
About The Collective
Ray is a Partner at The Collective, a full service management and production company. The Collective represents a diverse array of clients such as Martin Lawrence, Linkin Park, Katt Williams and Emile Hirsch. The Collective is in post production now on the New York Times’ Bestselling book adaptation, I HOPE THEY SERVE BEER IN HELL , as well as the remake of the Fritz Lang classic, BEYOND A REASONABLE DOUBT. The Collective, along with Salient Media, recently just won an Emmy for the Don Rickles biopic, MR. WARMTH.
About XYZ Films
XYZ Films is a newly formed production company with a development fund. Recently, XYZ formed a partnership with Time Inc. and The Collective to develop its literary properties into films. Partners Nate Bolotin, Nick Spicer and Aram Tertzakian formed XYZ Films in early 2008.