During his Sunday LAT Fest of Books Q & A, Bret Easton Ellis talked candidly about Hollywood with music journo Erik Himmelsbach, reports Cameron Carlson:
Ellis speculated that Fox Searchlight might make his upcoming Hollywood novel Imperial Bedrooms (his seventh) into a film. Most of what is written about Hollywood is satire, he said, but the real Hollywood isn’t funny. Imperial Bedrooms is a “sequel” to Less Than Zero, an adaptation with which he was deeply dissatisfied. He was unwilling to write the original film, but when he saw another writer’s screenplay he reconsidered.
Once you hand a screenplay to the director, Ellis said, it turns into something else and there’s nothing you can do about it. Directors are concerned with their problems, not the problems in his books. The exception was Roger Avery, who understood Ellis’s interest in the unreliable narrator in The Rules of Attraction. Apparently Ellis had a rough time on Gregor Jordan’s The informers.
During the making of American Psycho, Ellis felt that Mary Harron and Christian Bale wanted his approval, which he thought was unnecessary. Bale showed up for dinner with Ellis dressed in a suit and introduced himself as Patrick Bateman. This freaked Ellis, who told Bale he could have his approval, “just don’t hurt me.” Ellis thinks that Bale has gotten monotonous since then and should do a romantic comedy. He’s always “intense,” he said.
Lunar Park is in pre-production, said Ellis; Jude Law may replace Benicio Del Toro, who Ellis knows and likes. He was set to play the role, but Ellis thought Del Toro was miscast. Ellis doesn’t see himself as Jude Law either.
Himmelsbach asked if Ellis had learned the lesson of novelist William Faulkner, who moved to Glendale to write for film, unhappily. Ellis said he hasn’t–and no author has. Everyone thinks of him as a “big screenwriter” now, he said, but he still considers himself an author.
The LAT reports on the LATFoB conversation.