Killer tunes: 'Psycho' has B'way hopes


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

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

David Johnson, Craig Roessler and Jesse Singer of the Johnson-Roessler Co., the Collective's Aaron Ray and XYZ Films' Nate Bolotin have partnered to acquire, develop and produce the violent tale of 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 songwriter has been brought on board, but producers said they're in talks with potential dramatists and hope to stage the adaptation by 2010 with an eye for Broadway.

Johnson said that aside from a love of the 1991 Simon & Schuster best-seller, 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."

Ellis is repped by ICM and Media Talent Group. (partialdiff)