Bret Easton Ellis & Gus Van Sant Writing a Suicide Screenplay
by Ethan Anderton
October 14, 2009
Oscar nominated director Gus Van Sant may already have another project in the works (Restless), but that's not stopping him from teaming with author Bret Easton Ellis (The Informers, Rules of Attraction) to write what sounds like a wholly depressing piece of cinema. Variety reports that Van Sant and Ellis are adapting The Golden Suicides, a Nancy Jo Sales article from Vanity Fair, about the double suicide (in 2007) of the artist and socialite couple Theresa Duncan and Jeremy Blake. Though Van Sant certainly has the experience behind the lens, it sounds like he will only be brought on board as a writer for this project.
Variety sums up the couple's troubles and tragic ends here for those who are interested:
"Duncan and Blake formed a popular couple on the downtown New York and Venice, California, art scenes. She was one of the first videogame designers for girls, and his 'digital paintings' -- kaleidoscopic images shown on plasma screens -- established him as a rising star on the circuit.
The couple descended into a paranoid spiral when the artists developed a consuming belief that government and religious organizations were conspiring against them. She killed herself in 2007. Blake found her body on the floor of their bedroom, and walked into the Atlantic Ocean a week later, ending his life."
Well that's just a complete downer. While the reason for their suicidal end is intriguing, it certainly isn't a story that I want to rush out and see in theaters. It's simply tragic, and while there are plenty of films with death and sadness at their core, I'm never completely excited to see them for that very reason. I know that Gus Van Sant has a knack for adapting stories about death in beautiful ways (for example: Milk), but that still doesn't mean I'm interested in seeing this. We'll keep an eye on the project, but we'll probably cry at the same time. Ithaka Entertainment's Braxton Pope will produce with Kevin Frakes and Hengameh Panahi.