Bloodthirsty American Psycho to become a London musical

Apr 24, 2012

American stand-up Ben Walker tipped to play Patrick Bateman in 'bloody satire' adaptation

AMERICAN PSYCHO, Bret Easton Ellis's bestselling novel of murder, yuppie excess and the daily dealings of a New York serial killer, is being made into a musical by British director Rupert Goold for the Headlong Provocative Theatre company.

Ben Walker, the American stand-up comedian, is tipped to play the terrifying anti-hero Patrick Bateman, a Wall Street trader whose murders are described in tortuous detail in the 1991 novel and who was played by Christian Bale in the 2000 movie.

The musical, which is billed as a "bloody satire" of materialism and murder in the 1980s, will have its world premiere next year at a small London theatre - possibly the Almeida or the Donmar, according to The Times - before a likely transfer to the West End.

The music and lyrics are by Tony Award-winner Duncan Sheik and the 'book' is by Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa, recently a writer-producer on the hit TV show Glee.

Good says the musical will be lighter than the novel. "It's very funny in the way the novel is," he said. "It's very cool and hip but also pastiching the period. It's bloody but in a slightly knowing way. It doesn't go to the horrific level that the book does."

That said, The Independent suggests the audience wear raincoats during the performance. Scenes of bloody murder, including one where Bateman kills his colleague with an axe, look set to put Sweeney Todd in the shade.

"There are murders, and they are on stage in full view of the audience," said Aguiree-Sacasa. "I think there's going to be a lot of blood."

Talk of a Patrick Bateman revival has been circulating for months. Liongate revealed it was looking to remake the Christian Bale film and just last month Ellis suggested he might write a sequel, asking people to tweet him possible storylines. He mused that a modern-day Bateman would want to kill David Beckham in a lift and that his favourite song would be Coldplay's Fix You.

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