"American Psycho" to Get Modernized Remake. Fans Outraged.
Let's get one thing straight right off the bat: I love American Psycho.
The novel was one of the principle reasons I got a hard-on for the written word. At the young age of twenty, I was reading this book and thinking, "Holy shit, now this is how you do it." It was the proverbial highlight reel of how to write a character-driven story, and I still make a point of going back to it at least once a year to enjoy the ride all over again.
Then there's the issue of the Mary Harron adaptation--an utter failure at the box office, but hey, most of my favorite movies didn't do well with mainstream America. We loved it, my friends and I. We'd quote the hell out of it, never missing a chance to say we've got an 8:30 res at Dorsia or we need to return some videotapes. On double or triple-dates we'd say: "I don't want you to get drunk, but that's a very fine chardonnay you're not drinking."
That's how you know you've got something special on your hands. Not only are you quoting it, talking about your favorite scenes ("Do you like Huey Lewis and the News?"), but you keep going back to it. American Psycho is one of those rare cases where both the novel and the film work perfectly, yet, do so in their own way. The novel was hyper-violent, disturbing, and satirical. The film toned down the violence, and almost plays out like a very dark comedy. I love them both for very different reasons.
So imagine my surprise when I found out yesterday that Lion's Gate has ordered an American Psycho remake. That's right, they want to remake a film that only came out ten years ago, tapping Noble Jones (the second unit director on The Social Network) to write and direct. Noble says the film explores how Bateman would fare in modern-day Gotham.
Now sometimes we, the LitReactor staff, get some backlash over our point of view on things. Having said that, I'm not going to slam Lion's Gate, but I am going to remind them of what a good job they did with the original film and point out the very obvious warning signs.
-If you're so inclined, pay a visit to Bret's Facebook page and read the comments being made. Do you see this? This is the core audience--your target demographic, saying they don't want it.
-Then there's Christian Bale, who is synonymous with two main roles: Batman and Patrick Bateman. In a character-driver film like this, do you realistically think you can top him? Because this is the position you're putting yourself in: creating a better Patrick Bateman. I'm not saying it can't be done, but your chances are slim. These are the same small stakes you'd be looking at if you tried to remake Fight Club with two guys that aren't Brad Pitt and Edward Norton.
-However, this is a modernized reboot intended for a new audience, right? Modernized, being the operative word here. So we're basically losing the 80's charm: the big blocky cell phones and cheesy clothes, that soundtrack. Seriously, how can you do that threesome scene without Phil Collins' Sussudio? How do you cut that Whitney Houston monologue? I'm sorry, but Patrick Bateman doesn't listen to Mumford & Sons. Keep him in the 80's where Ellis invented him.
-You've tried to cash in off the popularity of the original before. Remember American Psycho 2? Bad sequels are one thing, but to take something that's already good and putting a new spin on it--I dare say that's even worse. Remember how worked up people got when the rumor was going around that Justin Bieber was going to be Marty McFly in the Back to the Future remake? That's the kind of public backlash you're going to be dealing with.
Again, you people at Lion's Gate got it right the first time. I'm sorry it didn't make more money. I'm sorry I didn't see it in theaters. I saw Rules of Attraction twice thinking that would be my small way of making up for it. Obviously, you still think there's money to be made with this idea, and I'm sure you will. I'd like to be positive about this, but it just makes me sad to see a company trying to fix something that ain't broke.
Let's end it on a bright note:
Litreactors, feel free to post your thoughts, favorite clips, anything at all.
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