You may be surprised to learn that Mary Harron’s cult classic, American Psycho – which undoubtedly helped Christian Bale land the role of Batman a few years later – has a sequel. The direct-to-video American Psycho 2 stars Mila Kunis and Star Trek‘s William Shatner (??) and was released in 2002.
In a shocking twist, it was never designed to be a sequel and the script was altered to form a connection to Patrick Bateman. The script was originally called The Girl Who Wouldn’t Die, but it was changed after production began. In the released version, the motivation for Rachel (Mila Kunis) to become a killer is that she witnessed her babysitter being murdered by her boyfriend Patrick Bateman. He kills and starts to dissect the babysitter, and 12-year-old Rachel stabs him with an ice pick.
Rachel grows up to be a college student studying criminology from her professor – William Shatner. She wants to join the FBI, but decides that killing off her classmates, who she is competing with, is the way to go. We take it all back – this sounds great.
American Psycho 2 is not the only example of original scripts being retroactively shoe-horned into becoming sequels or part of a franchise or ‘universe.’ The 2008 sleeper hit Cloverfield has had two sequels – neither of which were originally intended to be connected to the found-footage science fiction movie. 10 Cloverfield Lane (2016) was originally a psychological horror film called The Cellar, and largely retained that tone. It’s only really at the end that the science fiction elements come in.
The Cloverfield Paradox (2018) was based on a script called God Particle, which again originally had no connection to Cloverfield. Despite the unusual marketing and release tactics deployed for the third movie, it was critically panned and quickly forgotten. A fourth Cloverfield movie is now in development which will be the first that is written from scratch to be part of the ‘Cloververse.’
If you’re a fan of the good American Psycho, check out our guide to the best slasher movies.