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Casting Call: The Canyons

The Canyons' protagonist, whom we shall arbitrarily refer to as Cameron, is handsome and jaded. He is cruel, but not because he is naturally nefarious, but because he wants to elicit a reaction, to reassure himself that there exists meaning in what seems like a pointless world. Cameron experiments with drugs, but he is not an addict; he sleeps with men and women, but he does not ever try to evaluate his sexuality. As a child, Cameron admired his older brother, but since he found out that older brother has been cheating on his wife with Cameron's former girlfriend, he no longer knows what to think. We would like artist-actor Thomas McDonell to play Cameron. This may be an odd choice as McDonell's biggest role so far was that of the innocuous bad boy in a live-action Disney film (Prom), but we stand by our choice.

For our older lady, by which we mean a lady in her early 30s, we select Jessica Chastain. We shall call this character Claudia, again based on our thorough research of popular baby names in the state of California (this time circa 1982). Claudia is a family friend of Cameron's, and used to get dragged to cocktail parties at Cameron and Christian's house. She hadn't seen Cameron since she was 16 and Cameron was eight, but bumps into him at a family function. They begin sleeping together.

As you may have gathered from our American Psycho-heavy introduction, we think Christian Bale killed it as American Psycho's Patrick Bateman and wanted to fit him in our film. Bale can play Cameron's older brother and former idol. We sort of like the name Christian for this character, and wonder whether Mr. Bale would consider keeping it. We would also consider the names Charles (Charlie), Brandon, Alexander, and Spencer.

Rumor has it that Easton Ellis wants to cast the rather dashing pornographic film actor, James Deen, as his protagonist. We have not done this. To compensate, we are going to cast another porn actor turned not-porn actor, Sasha Grey. To have Sasha play a temptress, or some such overtly sexual role, would be a little dull. We think Sasha has real potential and should be given an opportunity to experiment out of her comfort zone, perhaps as the protagonist's bewildered, tormented ex-girlfriend, whom we shall call... Daisy, the 71st most popular girl's name in the state of California in the year 1988. There is a helpless naivety to Daisy; she doesn't understand why Cameron broke up with her, she still loves him, but has been sleeping with his older brother on and off since she lost her virginity to him at 15. Consequently, Daisy is facing some cognitive dissonance, which she is trying to overcome by mixing Xanax and vodka shots, and maybe eventually some heroin. Whatever drug the kids are doing these days.

Cameron's best friend, Nicholas, is not a nice person. Think a sort of Valmont disregard for the feelings of others, except we don't think he's going to be very interested in women. Perhaps this disinterest is because Nicholas is a bigger-picture person and doesn't like to get caught up in anything vaguely emotional, but we suspect that it has a little to do with his feelings for Cameron—some sort of ambiguous Romeo-Mercutio latent lust. Maybe the two hooked up one night when they were drunk or high at Camden College (where all Easton Ellis characters go) and Nicholas hasn't gotten over it. We pick Friday Night Lights' Michael B. Jordan to play Nicholas. Not because we think he's a bad person, but because we think he is a good and a pretty actor.

We expect there to be some wealthy and very dysfunctional parents in this film. We nominate Chris Noth to play Cameron and Christian's father.