Gus Van Sant and Bret Easton Ellis Team Up for ‘Golden Suicides’

One remade Hitchcock’s “Psycho,” the other wrote the novel “American Psycho.” and they each often explore screwed up young characters, but otherwise Oscar-nominated filmmaker Gus Van Sant (“Milk”) and author Bret Easton Ellis (“Less Than Zero”) have little in common. The most significant contrast between them is that Van Sant’s characters tend to have good souls, while Ellis’ seem to have no souls at all. This makes it all the more exciting and curious to see how the duo collaborates on a script about the tragic true story of artists Theresa Duncan and Jeremy Blake.

The lovers, who both ended their lives in 2007, were not household names, but they were important figures in the art world, and they both made contributions to cinema. Duncan, one of the first designers of video games for girls, made an animated short titled “The History of Glamour” (watch it here), and Blake did the abstract interludes seen in Paul Thomas Anderson’s “Punch-Drunk Love.”

It was first announced a year ago that Ellis would be adapting the artists’ story, as written up by Nancy Jo Sales for a Vanity Fair article titled “The Golden Suicides.” But Van Sant was merely listed as a consultant on the project. Now Variety reports the two will be co-writing the screenplay.

“Golden Suicides” will be Ellis’ second screenplay — he recently co-adapted his book “The Informers” with Nicholas Jarecki — and his first not based on his own writing. Van Sant, of course, has a lot of experience scripting some of his own films.

As of yet, Van Sant is not attached to direct “Golden Suicides,” likely because he’s about to helm the drama “Restless.” Hopefully he’ll be directing the adaptation of Tom Wolfe’s the adaptation of “The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test” after that.

Who then could adequately direct from a script co-written by Van Sant and Ellis? My first thought was Larry Clark, who previously worked with Van Sant on “Kids.” But then I realized Duncan and Blake are a little too old to be the subjects of a Clark film. My second choice, and probably the more appropriate one: Mary Harron, who directed the adaptation of Ellis’ “American Psycho.”

Can you imagine a movie that comes from the minds of Gus Van Sant and Bret Easton Ellis? Do you hope Van Sant directs? Who else would be a good fit to helm the film?