American Psycho author Bret Easton Ellis and Trainspotting novelist Irvine Welsh are teaming up to develop a new television series, one that takes a satirical look at the press culture of U.S. tabloids.
The duo are in final talks with U.K.-based company Burning Wheel Productions to co-create American Tabloid (working title). According to a press release, the series will follow "a rambunctious cavalcade of pranksters, con men, and rapscallions — in other words, journalists — being brought together from across the globe to change not only the landscape but the power of the press forever from scandalous rumor to political puppetry."
American Tabloid "will journey through the decades following events from a weekly publication and enter into a world where political correctness, morals, and ethics are left firmly at the door."
A distributor and cast are not in place at this stage, but all parties are confident the deal will firm up in the coming weeks.
Both Ellis and Welsh have had multiple novels adapted for the screen. For Ellis, who released his latest book White in 2019, that would be American Psycho, Less Than Zero, The Rules of Attraction, and The Informers. For Welsh, that would be Trainspotting, Filth, and Ecstasy. Welsh previously worked with Burning Wheel on the film Creation Stories, based on a screenplay written by the author about the life of Alan McGee, a British music industry Svengali. Trainspotting director Danny Boyle executive produced.
"To do this production justice we always knew we would require writers who don’t hold back and go way further than most would dare," Burning Wheel's Shelley Hammond said in a statement. "We are just beyond delighted that we are ready to agree a deal to make this happen with the incredible talent of Bret and Irvine. This would be the first time the two have collaborated professionally—and with the support to allow creative freedom we are confident spectacular things will happen."