An American Psycho television adaptation is apparently in the works with Lionsgate. The show, which was originally being talked about back in 2013, was supposed to feature an older Patrick Bateman still as lethal as he ever was, with a protégé to help with his crimes—which is certainly a way of looking at American Psycho. (I’m Team He Didn’t Kill Anyone, but there are people who think he did and his crimes were covered up.)
While the show would be “different” from the world we already know, it’d be a deeper look into the psyche of Patrick Bateman either way, and that’s not necessarily something I want, but I do love exploring this property. Based on the 1991 book of the same name, most know the name Patrick Bateman because of Mary Harron’s 2000 film, where she, arguably, made the character more compelling than Bret Easton Ellis ever could in his 399-page novel.
A show exploring what Patrick Bateman is like now that he’s older would, frankly, hit a bit too close to the reality we just escaped from with the Trump administration, but again, American Psycho is one of my favorite movies, so I do feel like I’d be beholden to whatever this show ended up being. It’s just not a simple thing, though.
The problem comes with the knowledge that Bret Easton Ellis is probably going to get money from this and more attention—two things that Bret Easton Ellis does not need. Ellis sucks. That’s the easiest way of explaining it. And he’s sucked for a long time, and it’s just gotten worse throughout the years. From his viewpoints on Donald Trump (despite writing a perfect look into the future and the horrors of those who idolized Trump) to blaming Millennials for for getting “outraged” at him to then falling victim to his own criticisms with White, Ellis is more of a laughingstock than anything else. To be honest, I’ve always loved that people adapt Ellis’ work and make it what he couldn’t.
All that being said, my feelings on an American Psycho television show are mixed. I love what Mary Harron did with the movie, and Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa brought new life to the story with the musical, but a long-form television show existing with Patrick Bateman for that long? I don’t know how that would work or whether or not I’d enjoy it that much, despite my love for the property. (It’s one of the reasons I didn’t love the novel. I hated being in his head for that long.)
I’ll wait to see what ends up happening with the show, but I do wish there was a way to completely separate it from Ellis. It’s not like what we like about this is what Ellis did anyway. We have Mary Harron to thank for that, and I’ll always be grateful to her vision.
Want more stories like this? Become a subscriber and support the site!
—The Mary Sue has a strict comment policy that forbids, but is not limited to, personal insults toward anyone, hate speech, and trolling.—
Have a tip we should know? [email protected]