FORGET ICEBERGS. In Hollywood, loose lips sink ships. And the marriage of Leonardo DiCaprio and American Psycho may wind up sunk by the loosest lips since Monica Lewinsky’s. Just weeks ago, it was trumpeted that edgy indie Lions Gate Films had persuaded the Titanic star to play the yuppie killer (a role supposedly given to Christian Bale) in the film version of Bret Easton Ellis’ infamous book. There was only one problem: ”He’s not signed,” confirms Leo’s publicist Cindy Guagenti. ”No negotiations have ever happened.” Though Guagenti says Leo may still take the gig, a source close to the project now calls it ”doomed.” But as one insider notes, ”nothing’s ever a done deal in this business.” Until the dust settles, here’s a look at the fallout on the Psycho killers.
— DiCaprio: When you can command $21 million — his reported Psycho salary — does anything really matter? With projects like John Irving’s The Cider House Rules and the perception that he still cares about the little people, Leo remains King of the World. (Prognosis: Neutral)
— Lions Gate: Who can blame it for contracting Leo fever? The concern here is whether the company, which is celebrated for its commitment to quality material (read: uncommercial), actively conspired to remove director Mary Harron (I Shot Andy Warhol) and Bale for an international payday. A spokesman for Lions Gate declined to comment. (Prognosis: Negative)
— Harron: It’s good news and bad news. Speculation is that if Leo takes it, she’s out. If he passes, it’s hers again. Either way, she winds up a martyr to Tinseltown treachery. That’s good on any resume. (Prognosis: Positive)
— Bale: Christian who? Despite Little Women, this guy’s hardly a household name. No matter how things work out, he’s appeared in hundreds of papers. There’s no such thing as bad publicity, dude — except maybe if you’re playing an Armani-clad Norman Bates. (Prognosis: Positive)
— Easton Ellis: It’s a win-win situation. According to Jody Kohn, Borders Books’ director of publicity, sales of Psycho have been bloody good. ”We’ve seen a surge,” says Kohn. ”It’s probably up 300 percent.” Up next for Ellis? Leo and Me: The Early Years. (Prognosis: We have a winner!)
(With reporting by Dan Fierman and Chris Nashawaty