EXCLUSIVE: I’m hearing that Benjamin Walker, the much-lauded star of Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter and the loopy historo-musical Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson, has landed the title role in the upcoming U.S. premiere of American Psycho the musical. The role of Patrick Bateman was created on film in 2000 by Christian Bale and starred Matt Smith (Doctor Who) in the recent London world premiere of the show scored by Duncan Sheik, with book by Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa and staging by Rupert Goold. Walker just co-starred in Hair at the Hollywood Bowl.
The possibly Broadway-bound show will begin performances in February 2015 and open in March at powerhouse off-Broadway company Second Stage, on West 43rd Street. It will be mounted in association with Act 4 Entertainment by special arrangement with Edward R. Pressman (who produced the film). Act 4 is a Los Angeles-based film and new media development company founded by David Johnson and committed to projects that “motivate and inspire audiences across the world toward social action.”
Bret Easton Ellis’ 1991 novel about excess, murder and flashing the right labels opened last December at London’s Almeida Theatre. The musical has inspired almost inevitable comparisons to Sweeney Todd.
Erstwhile pop star Sheik wrote the terrific score for Spring Awakening. Aguirre-Sacasa was a Second Stage playwright in residence, has written for Glee and Big Love, and is Chief Creative Officer for Archie Comics, though on Broadway he’s probably best known as the book-writer who couldn’t save Spider Man: Turn Off The Dark. Goold, artistic director of the acclaimed Almeida, staged Enron, a hit in London that flopped on Broadway, as well as Macbeth, starring Patrick Stewart, which was presented at the Brooklyn Academy of Music, and Made In Dagenham, opening in October on the West End.
I couldn’t reach Waker’s reps at WME and Inspire Entertainment for comment.