In a way, ‘American Psycho’ established Christian Bale as one of the greatest actors of our generation. But back then, Leonardo was almost finalized for the lead role of Patrick Bateman. How did Bale manage to bag the role amidst such stiff competition?
In the year 2000, released a film which not only established Christian Bale’s supremacy as a great actor but also became a major box office success. The satirical horror film ‘American Psycho’ was known for its dark comedic elements, unparalleled tension and some of the most horrific sequences ever put to screen in mainstream cinema. Christian Bale was among the highlights of the film. How would it have felt if the film had someone other than Bale portraying Patrick Bateman? Sounds like an ‘unsatisfactory’ statement, right? Leonard DiCaprio almost played Patrick in the film, as per the reports. Let’s see how that sequence of events turned out and Bale kept the role in his grasp and owned it completely.
- Leonardo DiCaprio first choice to play Patrick Batemen
- Leonardo DiCaprio original Patrick Batemen
It was reported that the production companies behind the film were not highly enthused about having Christian Bale playing the role of a handsome psychopathic killer. Muse Productions had Edward Norton in mind to play the role. Edward had just come off the cult classic success of ‘Fight Club’ and he seemed like a neat choice for the role. Meanwhile, Bale was just beginning to make his mark on the vast azure of Hollywood. Lionsgate, one of the production companies behind the film, was hell-bent on signing Leo for the role, along with director Oliver Stone, who was also a hot commodity back then.
Leonardo DiCaprio first choice to play Patrick Bateman
After the decision to cast Norton was turned down by the officials, Leo was the next big option for them. As per reports, Leo was offered a whopping $20 million to play the iconic role, but he was in no mood to play a serial killer, it seemed. There are other reports suggesting that Leo was interested in the role, and he had even read a few scenes from it to the director Mary Harron. But Mary wasn’t too fond of what Leo had to offer to the film. She didn’t like the boyish charm that Leo had, and he was not considered suitable for the role of a suave investment banker. He was also coming off the major success of ‘Titanic’, which further played a big role in establishing a ‘cute’ image for Leo. That’s another story that Leo reinvented himself later and became one of the most versatile American actors.
Meanwhile, the role of Patrick Bateman was still up for grabs. It was also reported that Mary was also removed from the film due to some internal issues. To replace her, the studios talked to director Oliver Stone, known for helming psychotic films like ‘Natural Born Killers’. It also seemed like Leo will finally be hired to play the role. But as it turned out, both Leo and Stone didn’t want to do the film, due to undisclosed reasons. Hence, Mary made a return as the director and Christian Bale was finally hired to star in the film. The rest, as they say, is history.
The film was released in 2000 and premiered at the highly prestigious Sundance Film Festival. However, the film was hated initially, and it seemed like the film would bomb at the box office. However, upon the theatrical release, the film was hailed as an instant cult classic and became one of the most successful films of the year. It also established Bale as a leading man who went on playing some challenging yet amazing roles in films such as ‘The Machinist’ and ‘Batman Begins’ to become a global star.
We don’t know what Leo would have been like in the role of Patrick Bateman. But whatever Bale offered, is quite good enough for us.
Tell us in the comments if you can see Leonardo playing Patrick Bateman? Also, tell us what’s your favourite Christian Bale role of all?