Paul Schrader Set To Direct Shark-Infested Thriller 'Bait' From Writer Bret Easton Ellis

Bret Easton Ellis (Less Than Zero, American Psycho) has been working on two new scripts in the past couple years. One is the very tantalizing The Golden Suicides, which chronicles the fall of art-world power couple Jeremy Blake and Theresa Duncan, who trapped themselves in a bubble of paranoia that burst only with their double suicide.

The other is Bait, a movie about a kid who feeds a bunch of rich people to sharks. Guess which one is getting made first, and with Taxi Driver writer Paul Schrader at the tiller?

THR reports on this one and provides a quick synopsis, which reiterates that the film should be a particularly overt and gory class warfare tale. How so? The site says the script,

...follows a young man itching to take his revenge against the wealthy. The man, who works at a posh beach club, angles his way on to a yacht filled with the obnoxious elite, commandeering it into waters filled with the finned man-eaters.

The premise is lurid and almost even promising, but then there is the Paul Schrader factor. Once a powerhouse, his directorial work in the past ten years has been shaky. (See Adam Resurrected; The Walker; and Dominion.) Brad Furman was attached to direct this one when it hit the American Film Market in 2009, but things obviously changed. I'd like to think that Paul Schrader is a step up, but at this point I can't honestly make that call.

Here's much more info on the story of Bait as it stood in 2009:

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.

Note: this is not the same as the other film called Bait on which we've reported. This one is sharks and rich people. That one is sharks in a supermarket. Confusing, I know.