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American Psycho The MUSICAL

Will a singing "American Psycho" serial killer knock 'em dead on Broadway?

Producers are betting Bret Easton Ellis' novel and screen adaptation will translate to a stage musical, with original 1980s-inspired songs and familiar covers of hits from the era.

The Johnson-Roessler Co.'s David Johnson, Craig Roessler and Jesse Singer, the Collective's Aaron Ray and XYZ Films' Nate Bolotin have partnered to acquire, develop and produce the tale of violent Wall Street investment banker Patrick Bateman. Ellis and Edward R. Pressman, the producer of Mary Harron's 1999 film adaptation, will serve as consulting producers.

No director, book writer or songwriters have yet been brought on board the project, but producers say they're in early talks with some potential dramatists and hope to stage by 2010 with an eye for Broadway. Musical killers have had mixed success onstage, from the acclaimed "Sweeney Todd" and tepidly received "Assassins" to the disastrous "Carrie."

Johnson said that, aside from a love of the controversial 1991 Simon & Schuster bestseller, his main inspiration for staging the project is "the great economic divide in this country." Citing his years as a Wall Street lawyer in the '80s, he said he's aiming for a tone that's "very real, (though) obviously exaggerated."

Singer added that they hoped the musical would retain the book's satire and its "electric charge, which inspired both fans and haters." Its depiction of violence against women inspired protest when it was published.

Music rights have not yet been secured, but producers hope to include songs by such bands as Talking Heads, Genesis and Huey Lewis and the News mentioned extensively in the novel.