Posted on Saturday, May 22nd, 2010 by Russ Fischer
One of the more promising films on the horizon — rather far on the horizon, unfortunately — is The Golden Suicides, scripted by Bret Easton Ellis. The story of an art world superstar couple who perished in a double suicide originally came up as a co-authored project between Ellis and Gus Van Sant. Now we know that Van Sant is producing, not writing, but Ellis still hopes he’ll be convinced to direct.
To recap, The Golden Suicides is based on the lives of of ‘golden couple’ Theresa Duncan and Jeremy Blake. It’s some crazy stuff: a powerful creative couple (he was an artist, she a game designer and filmmaker) began to exhibit eccentric and downright bizarre behavior, requested ‘loyalty oaths’ of friends, complained of Scientologist persecution and eventually killed themselves within a week of each other. Duncan took pills; Blake walked into the Atlantic Ocean and never came out again.
In the last of Movieline’s series of interviews with Ellis, the author says he’s finished the first draft of the script (which we knew, thanks to his Twitter feed) and that Gus Van Sant has been “fairly” hands-on as a producer. Right now he isn’t slated to direct, but Ellis hopes he’ll be persuaded.
Of the script, Ellis says that it is a very sympathetic take, and that he isn’t interested in presenting a whole lot of “crazy.” He also explained,
I connected with the story a lot, so it was really exciting and emotional to write it. I didn’t find it depressing. I thought it was the most difficult thing I’ve had to write…I didn’t want to make up anything. I wanted the script to really follow what happened. There were three or four scenes where the two of them are alone and no one really knows what they said. You have to take liberties during those scenes, but more or less, everything that’s in the script can be verified by things they said or things they did out there in the public.
Ellis also describes his emotional connection to the film, saying that he was writing it just as The Informers was obviously becoming a train wreck, and that he’s had his own romantic involvement with someone who was unbalanced, so he could empathize with Jeremy Blake. THe film represents “the extreme conclusion, but what happens if you’re in love with someone for so long and their world has become your world and suddenly, they’re gone? I don’t know. I kept thinking that could have been me. It could have been me.”