Other big Hollywood names such as Leonardo DiCaprio, Brad Pitt and Edward Norton were also considered for the leading role of the film.
Among the roles always remembered by Christian Bale is American Psycho. The actor got into the skin of patrick bateman in the film adaptation of the novel of the same name by Bret Easton Ellis. The film, directed by Mary Harron, has come to be considered one of the best in the ‘suspense’ and the gender of terror. However, Bale was not the first choice for the protagonist of this project. At this point, it’s impossible to imagine another actor like Patrick Bateman, but the candidate the studio had in mind in the first place was Johnny Depp.
This happened in 1992, when producer Edward R. Pressman took over the rights to make the film. However, the pre-production phase of the project ran into some problems and Depp gradually lost interest in it. His departure caused the planned film to change completely.
David Cronenberg was the director chosen to stand behind the cameras of the film, which had a script by Ellis himself. The maker of crimes of the future chose Brad Pitt for the title role.
Ellis recounted in an interview on Rolling Stoneon the occasion of the film’s 25th anniversary, which Cronenberg had “strange requests”. For example, he refused to shoot nightclub scenes at night, restaurant scenes and scenes of violence. After certain disagreements, the project of making American Psycho with Cronenberg, Pitt and Ellis died.
It was a few years later that Harron joined the film as director and always knew that Bale was the perfect actor for the lead. However, Lionsgate -the studio behind the film- suggested to the director that Edward Norton be chosen, since it was crucial for them to get a known actor. Harron herself confirmed, shortly before the film’s theatrical release, that she and Lionsgate had “a big battle” over the casting process.
Faced with the refusal to sign Norton, the study proposed Leonardo DiCaprio, who at that time was already a tremendously popular face after starring in Titanic in 1997. Lionsgate sent the actor a copy of the script accompanied by an offer of $20 million.
Harron, for his part, did not see DiCaprio as Patrick Bateman. “Not believable as one of these Wall Street tough guys”said the director in The Guardian. “I didn’t want to deal with someone with a 13-year fan base.”. Even the director refused to meet with him. Ultimately, Harron won the battle, but first he also had to turn down Ewan McGregor.
Can you imagine what would have happened if Depp had starred in American Psycho? The actor has always been characterized by his peculiar way of acting, with a more playful tone, so it seems that we would not have had a Patrick Bateman like Bale, who brings a great human coldness to the character.
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