Patrick Bateman in “American Psycho” is one of the great horror characters of all time, one who perfectly encapsulates the “Greed is Good” philosophy of the 80s. With his anonymous job on Wall Street, his wealth and his materialism ostentatious, and his complete lack of human empathy, Bateman was the man of his time and place. As for the 2000 film adaptation, it also foreshadowed the modern phenomenon of FOMO. Preoccupied with securing reservations at Manhattan’s hippest restaurants and waxing lyrical about the most mainstream pop imaginable, his desperation to gain acceptance in an environment where he’s often mistaken for other financial drones is palpable. .
Johnny Depp was interested in the role as early as 1992, but by the time director Mary Harron first landed the gig several years later, Leonardo DiCaprio was the name on everyone’s lips. Harron always considered Christian Bale for the role, but he was not in the studio’s plans at all. Conversely, Harron absolutely did not want DiCaprio:
“Leonardo was not at all right [for the part]. There is something very childish about him. He’s not believable as one of those Wall Street badass…I didn’t want to deal with someone who had a 13-year-old fan base. They shouldn’t see the movie. It could have caused us a lot of trouble.”
Although DiCaprio would later portray another Wall Street freak in “The Wolf of Wall Street,” he was clearly not cut out for the role at this point in his career. This did not concern the studio, however, which announced it at the top of Harron’s disapproval. Her refusal to meet DiCaprio led to her being fired from the project as a list of other potential directors was compiled. Several, including Danny Boyle, Martin Scorsese, David Cronenberg and Stanley Kubrick, were considered before Oliver Stone took over.