Back in December of 2011 it was announced that Noble Jones, a music video and commercial director, would be writing and directing a modern remake of “American Psycho,” based on the Bret Easton Ellis novel that was adapted once before by director Mary Harron (with a wonderful Christian Bale in the iconic lead role of ’80s psychopath Patrick Bateman). Well, those plans have seemingly faltered (despite an endorsement by Ellis himself) but Bateman will be back, only this time on television. FX is developing an “American Psycho” sequel series for prime time. Oh don’t worry, it gets even weirder.
The new series isn’t set in the ’80s like the original (the novel, published in 1991, was one of the seminal accounts of the decade, second only to probably Tom Wolfe‘s “Bonfire of the Vanities“), but instead takes place in present day. Instead of just shifting the actions of the book to the here and now, they’ve decided to focus the show on an older Patrick Bateman (now in his fifties). Old Man Bateman, it seems, is training a protégé, according to the release “a next generation American Psycho.” Jeez.
“American Psycho,” the series, will be produced by Allison Shearmur and written by Stefan Jaworski, and while it could be cool, there is seemingly nothing to distinguish this from something like Showtime‘s serial killer thriller “Dexter.” The emphasis seems to have shifted from the satire of the book and original film, to the murders themselves, which not only makes the killings more concrete (they were always left in a speculative no man’s land before, something Ellis recently said makes the material unadaptable) but makes the entire premise seem sort of boring. Plus, the last time the network adapted a movie we ended up with the Charlie Sheen-led “Anger Management,” for an amazing 100 episodes.
That being said, a prime time take on “Silence of the Lambs” (on network television, no less) probably seemed like a folly and yet Bryan Fuller‘s “Hannibal” ended up being one of the most delightful television shows all year. FX also knows a thing or two about what it takes to be scary, having shepherded the deeply brilliant “American Horror Story” through two surprising seasons (the third premieres in October). We don’t envy whoever is going to step into Christian Bale’s shoes, either. As long as they love Huey Lewis & the News…