NBC’s critically-acclaimed Hannibal TV series delves deeper into the history and psychology of Dr. Hannibal “The Cannibal” Lector, whereas A&E’s respected Bates Motel show goes back even further in time to explore the events and upbringing that shaped young Norman Bates into the mentally-fractured murderer portrayed in Psycho. Now FX is getting in on the game of producing TV content based around cinema’s most infamous killers, with an American Psycho TV series.
The twist? Unlike Hannibal or Bates Motel, the American Psycho television program will take place years after the events depicted in the Brent Easton Ellis novel and subsequent cult classic film adaptation from writer/director Mary Harron. The latter project (released in 2000) starred a pre-Batman Begins Christian Bale as wealthy young New York investment banking executive Patrick Bateman, whose handsome exterior and daytime manner hides an inner unhinged personality – one that tends to only come out at night. Harron’s movie gained it cult status thanks to Bale’s off-the-wall performance, in addition to its director’s wry deconstruction of the male ego and competitive businessman mentality.
Deadline is reporting that FX has put the American Psycho sequel TV drama into development, with Stefan Jaworski (Those Who Kill) writing and executive producing alongside former Lionsgate Films head of production Allison Shearmur (The Hunger Games: Catching Fire) and Ed Pressman, who also produced Harron’s previous movie adaptation. The show will take place in the present-day and revolve around a 50-something Bateman, who decides to take on a protégé and conduct “a sadistic social experiment” that gives rise to the next generation of… well, see the title.
For those who are curious, the FX TV series is not expected to be connected in any way to the 2002 direct-to-video film sequel American Psycho II: All American Girl, starring Mila Kunis as a young woman who develops an interest in murder after meeting the deranged Mr. Bateman. Nor, for that matter, does the show appear to have any link to the American Psycho reboot – an update that moves the setting from the 1980s to the 21st century – that was announced as having entered the early stages of development a couple years ago.
FX’s American Psycho TV series, like the aforementioned movie reboot, sounds intriguing in the sense that it may apply the same kind of blistering satire and dark comedy approach in Harron’s film (as well as Ellis’ novel) to modern-day Wall Street. The cable network has amassed an impressive body of original content in recent years, including such critical/ratings hits as Justified, Sons of Anarchy, American Horror Story and The Americans; not to mention, it has promising shows like Guillermo del Toro’s vampire drama The Strain and a limited series based on the Coen Brothers’ Oscar-winning crime tale Fargo on the horizon.
In other words, it’s a smart move to not bet against FX at this stage in the game, even despite some reservations about how the American Psycho sequel TV show will address (or maybe it’ll just ignore) the story ambiguities that were introduced towards the end of Harron’s film and Ellis’ book – regarding which of Bateman’s “after-work activities” were real and which were just sick fantasies. Of course, you can be sure and let us know your own thoughts about the prospective TV show in the comments section.
We’ll keep you updated on development of FX’s American Psycho TV show.