Bret Easton Ellis Finishes ‘Less Than Zero’ Sequel, Wants Robert Downey Jr. Back

First published in 1985, “Less Than Zero” defined a generation. It also helped launch the impressive careers of Robert Downey Jr., James Spader, and “American Psycho” author Bret Easton Ellis. Now, Ellis is hoping to reunite the others for a follow-up movie about what happened after the party ended.

“What I’m working on now is a sequel to ‘Less Than Zero’,” the novelist explained to us recently. “It’s coming out next year, in May of 2010.”

And just like last time, Ellis (whose latest novel-turned-film “The Informers” opens in limited release April 24th) thinks the book would make a great movie.

“The cast is still around, so it would be really funny to see [them film a sequel],” he explained of the re-visit, which will be titled “Imperial Bedrooms”. “And this book is pretty dramatic, in terms of how complicated the relationships have gotten in the last twenty years.”

As you might remember, the original “Zero” chronicled the world of a young man named Clay (Andrew McCarthy), his substance-abusing friend Julian (Downey), and a whole lot of drinking, drugs and one-night stands. But contrary to what we might have assumed, Easton Ellis revealed that all the main characters are still very much alive.

“It’s in present-day,” he explained. “You’ll find out where all the characters from the book have now ended up, for better or for worse.”

“I first thought [they’d be dead] when I started thinking about it; when I began to outline the book and figure out who’s going to be around and who’s not – some of the main people are going to be okay,” Easton Ellis laughed. “There was some supporting cast that I realized was expendable – you knew something bad was going to happen to them. But the leads? Yeah, they kind of stuck around.”

Easton Ellis is hoping that a movie would reunite Spader, McCarthy, Jamie Gertz and others – and, after Robert Downey Jr.’s well-chronicled substance-abuse difficulties and subsequent triumph over them, feels that the recent Oscar-nominee could bring something special to a second turn as Julian Wells. “His character in the book is sober,” the author explained. “Fragile, but sober.”

“[A second ‘Less Than Zero’ movie] can either be a stunt and seem really gimmicky, or it could work out. But I think it would be of interest,” he explained. “Now that I’m finally done with the book I’m thinking ‘God, what if Fox wants to do this as a film?’ Because Fox did the original and I think there’s a rights issue involved…I think it would be a great idea. We’ll see.”

Would you like to see a “Less Than Zero” sequel in theaters? What do you think the characters will be up to?