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Bret Easton Ellis's Imperial Bedrooms Heads for Fox Searchlight?

Thompson on Hollywood By Cameron Carlson | Thompson on Hollywood April 26, 2010 at 1:45AM

During his Sunday LAT Fest of Books Q & A, Bret Easton Ellis talked candidly about Hollywood with music journo Erik Himmelsbach, reports Cameron Carlson:
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Thompson on Hollywood

During his Sunday LAT Fest of Books Q & A, Bret Easton Ellis talked candidly about Hollywood with music journo Erik Himmelsbach, reports Cameron Carlson:

Ellis speculated that Fox Searchlight might make his upcoming Hollywood novel Imperial Bedrooms (his seventh) into a film. Most of what is written about Hollywood is satire, he said, but the real Hollywood isn't funny. Imperial Bedrooms is a "sequel" to Less Than Zero, an adaptation with which he was deeply dissatisfied. He was unwilling to write the original film, but when he saw another writer's screenplay he reconsidered.

Once you hand a screenplay to the director, Ellis said, it turns into something else and there's nothing you can do about it. Directors are concerned with their problems, not the problems in his books. The exception was Roger Avery, who understood Ellis's interest in the unreliable narrator in The Rules of Attraction. Apparently Ellis had a rough time on Gregor Jordan's The informers.

During the making of American Psycho, Ellis felt that Mary Harron and Christian Bale wanted his approval, which he thought was unnecessary. Bale showed up for dinner with Ellis dressed in a suit and introduced himself as Patrick Bateman. This freaked Ellis, who told Bale he could have his approval, "just don't hurt me." Ellis thinks that Bale has gotten monotonous since then and should do a romantic comedy. He's always "intense," he said.

Lunar Park is in pre-production, said Ellis; Jude Law may replace Benicio Del Toro, who Ellis knows and likes. He was set to play the role, but Ellis thought Del Toro was miscast. Ellis doesn't see himself as Jude Law either.

Himmelsbach asked if Ellis had learned the lesson of novelist William Faulkner, who moved to Glendale to write for film, unhappily. Ellis said he hasn't--and no author has. Everyone thinks of him as a "big screenwriter" now, he said, but he still considers himself an author.

The LAT reports on the LATFoB conversation.

This article is related to: Studios, Books, Fox Searchlight


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Thompson on Hollywood

Born and raised in Manhattan, Anne Thompson grew up going to the Thalia and The New Yorker and wound up at grad Cinema Studies at NYU. She worked at United Artists and Film Comment before heading west as that magazine's west coast editor. She wrote for the LA Weekly, Sight and Sound, Empire, The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly before serving as West Coast Editor of Premiere. She wrote for The Washington Post, The London Observer, Wired, More, and Vanity Fair, and did staff stints at The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. She eventually took her blog Thompson on Hollywood to Indiewire. She taught film criticism at USC Critical Studies, and continues to host the fall semester of “Sneak Previews” for UCLA Extension.