Mary Harron’s blood-soaked American Psycho is one of the most iconic movies of the 21st century, and one of the best horror movies of all time. The early 2000s movie, starring Christian Bale, is a cult classic, and Bale’s turn as the manic Patrick Bateman is absolute perfection. However, another Hollywood A-lister was very close to playing the character, with production complications preventing none other than Leonardo DiCaprio from fulfilling his planned role in the movie.
The dark, twisted thriller movie went through something of a development hell, by the sounds of it, with Marry Harron initially attached to direct, before losing the gig over disagreements on casting, to then reclaiming the gig – and knocking it out of the park, we should add.
In an interview with Little White Lies, Harron revealed how she nearly lost the project completely, when Leonardo DiCaprio declared interest in the role of Patrick Bateman. Harron preferred Bale, but executives on the movie wanted DiCaprio, who was just coming off the back of the huge success of Titanic.
“I didn’t agree with that. Partly because he was such a big star but also because he had a teenage girl fanbase,” Harron said of the potential DiCaprio casting. “I just didn’t think he was right for it – so I was fired from the movie for a while,” she added.
With Harron out of the picture, DiCaprio really sunk his teeth into the project, and tried to get Oliver Stone to direct the movie, which is based on a book. However, the collaboration between Stone and DiCaprio didn’t go to plan, with the two having creative differences over the script.
“They couldn’t agree on the script,” Harron explains. “So they brought me back and I was able to cast Christian,” she concluded. As much as we love Leonardo DiCaprio, and think he is a great actor, we’re glad Bale got the role in the end.
We know how committed Bale is to transforming for a role, but his dedication at the time surprised Harron. “His physical preparation was beyond what I expected,” Harron said. “I thought he might have to visit the gym, because Bateman works out, but he went through a complete physical transformation,” she explained.