Serial killers seem to be fast becoming the new zombie for entertainment fans. As well as having Dexter, Bates Motel, and Hannibal we now have the return of a character that was thoughtful enough to give musical advice while murdering his victims. Yes Patrick Bateman may be making a return in a televised series of American Psycho. Planned for FX, it has Allison Shearmur (The Hunger Games: Catching Fire) producing and Stefan Jaworski (Those Who Kill) behind it as writer.
For people unaware of Mr. Bateman (and who have been living under a rock since 1991) he is a yuppie executive who in his spare time murders his colleagues and any one he becomes annoyed with. The book American Psycho, where Patrick is first unleashed into the world (he does appear in a very brief scene in The Rules of Attraction novel), came from the brilliant mind of Bret Easton Ellis, and was turned into a movie starring former Batman, Christina Bale, who gives a stunningly mental performance.
It seems in this updated version (which follows on from the movies and novel), Bateman is now in his 50s and has taken on a protegé to help him in a sick social experiment which will hopefully create a new generation of psychos just like him. Sounds promising and if this is crafted as well as the Hannibal series, it should be superb. A big part of what makes Hannibal great is knowing who the killer is and watching him twist the cast around his fingers. We would guess that American Psycho is probably going to take this route as well. It would be difficult to mold him as the likable psycho like we’ve seen in Dexter, because he really is a bit of an unlikable chap. In the movie, though everyone he meets loves him until the moment he snaps in front of them. If it involves a protégé then his manipulation of people Patrick has will definitely come into play.
No casting news as of yet but the serial killer role is going to be a tough one to fill. TV psychos tend to be more charming and sophisticated with just a hint of menace behind their eyes. It is unlikely that Christian Bale is going to reprise his role as Patrick so the casting of this role is going to be crucial in the audience accepting this new series and character.
The only downside is that first impressions of the book and the movie were you did not actually know if Patrick was a killer or not. The scenes of murder that we see him witness are all discredited by the end and certainly make you wonder if it is all in his head. The ambiguous nature of this ending really appealed to me. However, the existence of a series with a protégé seems to confirm it will not be in his head, unless it is later revealed to all be imagined. That is the great thing about entertainment though, how differently each person interprets the material in front of them. TV interpretations of popular characters from books and film have been incredible as of late and very well scripted pieces. Here is hoping American Psycho can do the same as the many shows before it. If it can it should make for some fantastic television.