American Psycho is a 2000 American-Canadian psychological thriller black comedy film co-written and directed by Mary Harron, based on Bret Easton Ellis‘s 1991 novel of the same name. It stars Christian Bale, Willem Dafoe, Jared Leto, Josh Lucas, Chloë Sevigny, Samantha Mathis, Cara Seymour, Justin Theroux, and Reese Witherspoon.
Producer Edward R. Pressman purchased the film rights to the novel in 1992. After discussions with David Cronenberg fell through, Harron was brought on to direct and cast Bale in the lead role. Lionsgate acquired worldwide distribution in 1997 and temporarily replaced Harron and Bale with Oliver Stone as director and Leonardo DiCaprio portraying Patrick Bateman. DiCaprio left in favor of The Beach and Harron and Bale were brought back. American Psycho debuted at the Sundance Film Festival on January 21, 2000, and was released theatrically on April 14, 2000. The film received generally positive reviews and was a financial success, with critics mainly praising the screenplay and Christian Bale’s performance.