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Bret Easton Ellis Explains Why 'American Psycho' Is Unadaptable, Talks About His Film With Kanye West

Photo of Kevin Jagernauth By Kevin Jagernauth | The Playlist August 8, 2013 at 11:30AM

While Mary Harron's Christian Bale-starring adaptation of "American Psycho" has become a cult favorite, author Bret Easton Ellis has never been a fan of her movie. While not exceedingly critical, he's long said his novel is unfilmable, and currently doing the rounds for "The Canyons," he again underscores how the core of 'Psycho' was compromised when it was brought to the big screen.
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Bret Easton Ellis American Psycho

While Mary Harron's Christian Bale-starring adaptation of "American Psycho" has become a cult favorite, author Bret Easton Ellis has never been a fan of her movie. While not exceedingly critical, he's long said his novel is unfilmable, and currently doing the rounds for "The Canyons," he again underscores how the core of 'Psycho' was compromised when it was brought to the big screen.

"I also don’t think really works as a film," he told Film School Rejects about the film. "The movie is fine, but I think that book is unadaptable because it’s about consciousness, and you can’t really shoot that sensibility. Also, you have to make a decision whether Patrick Bateman kills people or doesn’t. Regardless of how [director] Mary Harron wants to shoot that ending, we’ve already seen him kill people; it doesn’t matter if he has some crisis of memory at the end."

"How do you adapt 'The Iliad'? How do you have that experience be the same as an experience that was conceived as a book?," he continued. "You’re getting a watered down, secondhand version of it, in a way. If you’ve written a novel, you’ve written a novel because it is a novel."

The irony here is that Ellis recently wrote the script for the "American Psycho" parody/homage commercial for Kanye West's Yeezus. We suppose there are exceptions to every rule. But anyway, that meeting bore more collaborative fruit. A week or so back, it was revealed that Ellis was writing another script for West, and chatting with Vulture, he spilled a little more on the mystery project. "All I can say is that it's a feature script and that we just finished talking deal points, more or less," he said. "I can't talk about it, but it's based on an idea that he has, and I'll be writing that soon."

A Yeezy/Ellis jam? We can only imagine what the pair are cooking up. We'll be curious to see how it develops and what it actually turns out to be.

This article is related to: American Psycho, Bret Easton Ellis, Kanye West


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