Bret Easton Ellis & Gus Van Sant Writing a Suicide Screenplay

October 14, 2009

Bret Easton Ellis / Gus Van Sant

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.

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interesting you reference milk instead of elephant there, ethan. and both BEE and GVS are hit or miss for me. i'll have to wait for casting/director announcements before i can get excited about this.

crumb on Oct 14, 2009


Like your opinion matters crumb, Bret Easton Ellis and Gus Van Sant will be more successful, cool, creative and interesting than you will ever be in your pathetic little life. Yes i'm jewish and don't appreciate your comments on previous articles, you obviously have the intelligence of a rock, when i say rock i mean a decaying syphilitic cunt! Mr. Billington i suggest you somehow ban the anti semite from first showing, i love this site but i don't like people who make light of the persecution of people close to me. My grandfather went through disgusting times, he died without his hands which were taken from him as a boy, he lived to old age and stood proud. and what for hey!

Jew on Oct 15, 2009


#2, I appreciate your appeal to pity, but your fallacious reasoning doesn't make my comments something it wasn't; I was not supporting antisemitism by any means - I was supporting the ridicule of people who can't separate artist from art. If you can't see that, then why am I the one being banned when you're the type of guy who can only see the surface of things? Why do you even watch movies? I bet you thought the zombies in NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD were just zombies, too, right? and ps, I could make a better film than Paranoid Park. In fact - I will. I will also write a better novel than the shit storm that was Less Than Zero. I might not do it before I'm 21 like he did, but I still will. My names Devin S. and you can quote me on this. later bitches, crumb.

crumb on Oct 15, 2009


HAHA JEW. Cry yourself a river. Nobody cares. Take Blake's lead and walk into an ocean.

Jon on Oct 15, 2009


Night of the living dead, duh i think you mean day of the dead, i totally thought the zombies in day of the dead were just zombies, everyone knows Night of the living dead on a subversive level was an allegory for the domestic racism that was rife in 1960's American society, it's no accident that the protagonist was black, he represented the minority, the subversive part being that the led character Ben as played by Duane Jones actually represented the Djudios and the zombies were the brain dead nazi oppressors hungry for the flesh of my fellow jew. so crumb your name is Devin S. care to elaborate on this film / book you will produce, how long will i be waiting, life unfortunately is not eternal, give me a sign of the great things to come just a snippet to give me faith in your endeavours. Jon, unlike yourself i am not a sheep i will not follow in the footsteps of blake my life is more important than to squander it in a cold salty ocean. The only river that will be in my vicinity will be the one gushing with ejaculate from yo' mamas hairy axe wound! Word!

Jew on Oct 15, 2009


Gus Van Sant has made some good films over the years. But then I remember his version Psycho. On paper this seems like as terrible an idea for a film as remaking a perfect Hitchcock film. I will also say though that people who spend their time hatefully insulting others in comments on blogs are in serious need of help...and maybe some time out of the house.

Eric Coomer on Oct 16, 2009


Actually Eric Coomer, you say i am in need of time out of the house, ha ha you make me laugh, i actually wrote my comments sitting under a pagoda in nothern Cambodia, out side and at least 5000 miles from my house! who are you anyway, your not the Great Devin S, whom i'd like to say is great.

Jew on Oct 16, 2009


For those of us familiar with the Blake/Duncan case and the history of the Cult of $cientology, this movie should be VERY interesting. Whether this couple's "demons" were real or imagined, this is a fantastic opportunity to cast a light on the notoriously nasty cult and their criminal "fair game" policy – which is known to have the deliberate intention of driving their opponents to madness and suicide. Google the name "Paulette Cooper" and "Operation Freakout" to see a documented case of this practice and why there are so many people out there who believe that Jeremy and Teressa REALLY may have been harassed to death by that insidious cult. Research has shown that there are quite a few reasons to speculate that the cult would have considered these two as a legitimate threat and make them a target. I also have little doubt that the cult will attempt to do whatever they can to try and discredit Gus Van Sant and Bret Ellis with their "black propaganda." Of course, don’t just take my word for it (I'm sure all this sounds pretty "moonbatty" anyway), do your own research on the subject and view all of this info with a healthy dose of skepticism.

Liz LeRayn on Oct 16, 2009

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