From Kanye to Zombie: A Guide to Bret Easton Ellis’ Current Projects


Oh, Bret. After making waves in the ’80s and ’90s with novels chronicling the ennui of the urban super-wealthy, he’s been on a weird run. There were the poorly received sequels to early hits, there was Lindsay Lohan disaster The Canyons, and now, there’s a slew of new projects. The latest, announced today, involves none other than Rob Zombie. It’s difficult to keep track of all the bizarre collaborations and solo efforts Ellis is currently involved with (in addition to his always-entertaining Twitter), so here’s a guide to what we can expect from the author and provocateur in the near future.

About That Rob Zombie Collab

It’s a miniseries, it’s created for Fox, and it’s about the Manson family murders of 1969. Nothing’s for certain yet, but the plan is to follow several points of view leading up to and after the cult killings, exploring Charles Manson’s total control over his followers. It sounds more like Zombie’s territory than Ellis’, but considering that The Canyons was also the story of murder and intrigue in Los Angeles, it’s not too far out of left field. Not that we wouldn’t kill to be a fly on the wall for whatever meetings Ellis and Zombie have had thus far.

Something with Kanye West

We already knew Kanye’s a fan, given this totally insane Yeezus promo that’s a shot-for-shot remake of an American Psycho scene, with Christian Bale swapped out in favor of Scott Disick. The two are currently working on some kind of full-length feature, with Ellis penning the script and Kanye taking on some unspecified role. Tabloids are currently reporting it’s a biopic with none other than Kim Kardashian in the starring role, but no one knows anything for sure, except that this is all part of Kanye’s master plan for world domination.

A Teen Thriller

It’s called The Curse of Downers Grove, and it’s about high school students getting killed in the namesake Chicago suburb (so like a John Hughes movie, but with murder!). Ellis co-wrote the script with director Derek Martini, and it looks like we’ll see the final product by the end of the year. Based on a 2001 novel, the movie looks about as low-budget as The Canyons, but without the big-name casting or novelty of including a porn star.

A Neo-Noir

Named after a billboard in Ellis’ novel Less Than Zero, Disappear Here is billed on its Kickstarter page as a “moody, stylish thriller” that “will echo classical Hollywood film noir of the 1940s, the color palettes of early 80s album covers, and the music from those albums.” Sounds like Ellis’ type of project, all right. According to his IMDb page, Ellis is executive producing the project, which reached its fundraising goal by calling on those who know “what it’s like to lose yourself because you couldn’t be yourself.”

His Next Novel

It’s his first in the near-half-decade since the widely panned Less Than Zero sequel Imperial Bedrooms. Despite his loud insistence on Twitter that “There. Is. No. New. Novel. Being. Written.” in December 2012, Ellis eventually took to Medium to retract: “For the past five years I didn’t want to write a novel. I didn’t want to be constrained by the form. I had convinced myself it didn’t interest me anymore…But out in the desert last January that feeling began to evaporate, and between the notes calls and the fear and the desert surrounding the house darkening beneath the late afternoon skies, the first sentences of a novel began to take shape.” Called Tranquil Reflections, it’s due out next year. Shot in the dark: there will be lots of coke and sad rich people.