The Golden Treatment

February 9, 2012

Golden Suicides Jeremy Blake and Theresa Duncan

If you thought that Paris J’etaime was an impressive collaboration among artists from different realms of film directing, wait until you get a load of what is in store for 2013 (if not sooner). Start by mixing together some equal parts of nihilism, suicide, scientology, LA subcultures, cinema du corps, psychedelia, POV cinematography, a star studded and (let’s admit) equally as handsome actor, and a touch of Portland slack—what do you get? Ladies and gentlemen, I give you The Golden Suicides.


Author Bret Easton Ellis


Director Gus Van Sant










Years ago the rumor mill tickled us with an idea that Bret Easton Ellis and Gus Van Sant were planning to collaborate on a screenplay based on Vanity Fairs article tracing the tragic suicide of artistic lovers Theresa Duncan and Jeremy Blake; aka the golden suicides. Bret Easton Ellis, author of the infamously misogynistic and violent American Psycho as well as the disaffected Holden Caulfied-esque Less Than Zero, has enough experience aptly appropriating controversy within his novels that the feat of appropriately tackling a tale of lovers’ suicide should evoke ease within his process.Van Sant, on the other hand, will balance out Ellis’ nihilism with tenderness, a talent of his seen in films like Elephant in where he systematically and successfully appropriated some of our sympathies with the evil, though misunderstood, high school shooters. However, this rumored duo between Ellis and Van Sant was years ago, and an update on the project has changed the dynamics a bit.

Gaspar Noe's Enter The Void

As of recent, the project has escaped the rumor mill and situated itself as something worth looking forward to; something that very well may occur. Bret Easton Ellis has completed the script and is on board with a director I could not be more thrilled about. From his debut Carne to Irreversible to his most recent Enter The Void, Gaspar Noe has proven himself to be a modern day auteur in every sense of the word, standing alongside the likes of Haneke and Almodovar. Noe’s directing style, more specifically his assaulting camera work paired with his no-holds-barred portrayal of rough content, is bound to transform Ellis’ surely successful adaptation into something even more evocative and experiential. With these two artists situated on the darker side of the fence, Van Sant could surely aid them in some balance. Unfortunately his name is no longer tied in with the project. Though Van Sant could have aided in the construction of the final screenplay, as of now all credits have been attributed to Ellis as official screenwriter. Only time will tell concerning Van Sant’s actual involvement and whether or not it even exists anymore.

There is of course a fourth player in all of this that will furthermore fuel the buzz surrounding this project. As if 2011 wasn’t already the year of Ryan Gosling, 2012 is shaping up to be even better for the hugely successful and beloved actor. Aside from confirmed projects alongside directors Malick (Tree of Life) and Refn (Drive), Gosling has also been the rumored star of Noe’s The Golden Suicides, playing the role of Jeremy Blake. While Gosling’s participation with the film remains rumored speculation based on some of Ellis’ personal tweets, it is nevertheless a rumor that is worth getting excited about. Hopefully there will be plenty more to come concerning this upcoming trifecta of talent.

Until then, keep those smiles folks.



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