American Psycho Movie Script

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American Psycho Movie Script

American Psycho is a 2000 psychological thriller film directed by Mary Harron based on Bret Easton Ellis’s novel of the same name. It stars Christian Bale, Willem Dafoe, Jared Leto, Josh Lucas, Samantha Mathis, Chloë Sevigny,Cara Seymour, Justin Theroux, and Reese Witherspoon. It debuted at the Sundance Film Festival on April 14, 2000.

Mary Harron, who had previously directed I Shot Andy Warhol, directed the film and co-wrote its screenplay with Guinevere Turner. This screenplay was selected over three others, including one by Ellis himself. Turner claims Ellis’ only complaint with the film was Bateman’s moonwalk before killing Paul Allen. In the novel, Patrick Bateman’s favorite artists are Genesis, Huey Lewis and the News, and Whitney Houston. An entire chapter is devoted to each.

Virtually every line in the film, including voice-overs, are taken nearly verbatim from Ellis’ novel. One of the few discrepancies is that several names from the book were changed for the film; for instance Paul Owen became Paul Allen and Tim Price became Tim Bryce. In an interview, Harron claimed to be distressed upon discovering that Paul Allen was a real person, and that she meant nothing by the use of his name.[Johnny Depp was informally attached to the project, first with Stuart Gordon in talks and then with David Cronenberg attached. Brad Pitt was once attached to star, with David Cronenberg directing and Ellis himself writing the script. Edward Norton was offered the part of Bateman but turned it down. Harron was set to direct, and offered the role of Bateman to Christian Bale, when production company Lions Gate Films issued a press release that Leonardo DiCaprio would star.

Oliver Stone subsequently expressed interest in directing the film which would see DiCaprio as Bateman, James Woods as Kimball, and Cameron Diaz as Evelyn with a script written by Matthew Markwalder. Harron resigned in protest because of Stone’s and DiCaprio’s desire to make Bateman more humane and less of a cold-blooded killer. DiCaprio was going to be paid $20 million for the film. When Gloria Steinem lobbied DiCaprio not to make the film, on the grounds that his fan base consisted mostly of young teenage girls following his Titanic success, he dropped out, as did Stone. Ewan McGregor was subsequently offered the part, but declined after Christian Bale personally urged him to do so. Eventually Harron and Bale returned together to the project.

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