The movie Less Than Zero was very loosely adapted into a movie in 1987 by 20th Century Fox in title-only. It starred Andrew McCarthy as Clay, Robert Downey Jr. as Julian, Jami Gertz as Blair, and James Spader as Rip. A then-unknown Brad Pitt also appeared as an extra. In the film, Clay is an anti-drug crusader who returns home from college to try to rescue his friends from their various narcotics addictions.
Due to all the liberties taken, Ellis refused to see the movie. In a recent interview with Amazon.com, Ellis stated that he has warmed up to the movie, and appreciates it visually as a snapshot of a particular time. Ellis claimed that there was no connection between the book and the movie, except for the title, the location of Southern California and the names of the characters.
A long-running rumor in the film industry is that Quentin Tarantino has been interested in filming a new version of Less Than Zero. His workmate Roger Avary adapted Rules of Attraction, (also based on a novel by Ellis) in 2002, and since both he and Tarantino like the works by Ellis, Tarantino has been eyeing the possibility of adapting Less Than Zero. Ellis stated in an interview for Vice mMagazine that Quentin Tarantino has been "trying to get Fox to let him remake it."  At a Q & A at Harvard Book Store (2012) Bret Easton Ellis stated again in a reply to a question of whether Less Than Zero will be remade, that Tarantino "has shown interest" in adapting the story. This Q & A filmed by WGBH Forum Network is called Bret Easton Ellis: Imperial Bedrooms. and can be seen on YouTube.