Posted on Friday, November 6th, 2009 by Russ Fischer
American Psycho author Bret Easton Ellis has a couple of projects in the works. One is his co-writing deal with Gus Van Sant, where the pair will chronicle the lives and odd, tragic suicides of artist/filmmaker couple Theresa Duncan and Jeremy Blake.
The other project is another writing gig that we haven’t known much about. But many things become clear during the American Film Market, where indie pics are shopped for financing and distribution. The latest Ellis script is a revenge tale that takes place among a group of rich kids when they get involved with a working class kid in a beach resort town. The film is called Bait, and the main character seeks to use an unusual and possibly entertaining method of gaining his revenge: he wants to feed the rich kids to sharks.
Ellis really must struggle with hating the rich. (And, to some extent, with hating humanity in general.) The synopsis below is courtesy of Shock Til You Drop, as editor Ryan Rotten has been cruising the AFM. Just from these few paragraphs I get the sense that this could be a wild rant against the decadence and entitlement of the upper class. But then again, the main character seems to be a bit off his nut as well, and there’s the whole shark angle. I’m always ready to see a film in which people are chewed up by sharks, whether they’re rich or poor. Read on for more on Bait, to be directed by Brad Furman.
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Cole is a quiet young man, unassuming, who works as waiter at a posh beach club. But underneath his polite demeanor is a suppressed rage at hte wealth and bounty that surrounds him and is out of his reach. The arrogance and dismissive nature of the rich fuels his anger at the unfairness of the world, and he is a ticking time bomb just waiting to explode.
One night, a group of these elite kids build a bonfire on the beach and party into the late hours, drinking, dancing, swimming and having fun. Cole, off duty, watches the festivities out of sight. When he moment is right, he hesitantly strikes up a conversation with the pretty Haley. But when her boyfriend Ryan spots the two talking, he is incensed and aggressively confronts Cole. In spite of Haley pleading to let him be, Ryan and his friends beat Cole to the ground and then humiliate him before the crowd. It’s the trigger that sends Cole over the edge.
The next day the hung over friends plan to spend the day on Ryan’s father’s luxurious yacht. Haley had slipped this bit of information to Cole during their talk, and Cole is determined to exact his revenge. He disposes of the yacht’s first mate and reports for duty, claiming to the Captain to be the first mate’s friend, who had to go away on unexpected business. The Captain obliges and Cole stows beneath deck while Ryan and his friends climb aboard. When they get too far out to sea to be spotted from the shore, Cole kills the Captain. Waiting until everyone is in the water, Cole unleashes his sinister plan of revenge. His weapon of choice is a school of sharks smelling blood and slowly circling the boat. As Cole steadily picks off each of his enemies, their desperate chances for survival grow slimmer and slimmer.