Quentin Tarantino’s Charles Manson movie (that hey, probably isn’t really a Charles Manson movie) has been getting all the headlines recently, but there’s another, much more directly Manson-oriented film on the horizon. Charlie Says, from the American Psycho writer-director team of Guinevere Turner and Mary Harron, is being launched for sales at this month’s European Film Market - and it now has a cast.
Matt Smith (Doctor Who) will play Manson in the drama, which focuses on the three young women who were sentenced to death, then commuted to life imprisonment, following the Manson Family murders of 1969. The three leads will be played by Suki Waterhouse (The Bad Batch), Hannah Murray (Game of Thrones’ Gilly), and Marianne Rendon (Imposters), while Carla Gugino (terrific in Gerald’s Game) and Merritt Weaver and Kayli Carter (both seen recently in Godless) round out the female-centric cast.
Considering the focus of the story - based on Ed Sanders’ 1971 book The Family and The Long Prison Journey of Leslie Van Houten by Karlene Faith, and dealing with the Manson proteges’ experiences following their crimes - it sounds as though Manson himself will appear primarily in flashback. It should be a fascinating watch, given Faith’s lifelong advocacy for Van Houten, the inherent lurid interest of the story, and the strength of the talent involved. I mean, it's the American Psycho team dealing with the most American psycho of all. It just clicks.
Charlie Says is scheduled to shoot this spring in Los Angeles. It's not a competition, but still...take that, Tarantino.