Last month, it was reported that Doctor Who and The Crown star Matt Smith would be featuring in an upcoming biopic about notorious serial killer and cult leader Charles Manson from American Psycho director Mary Harron. Today, the news of his casting has been made official, along with the announcement of the film’s title: Charlie Says.
While Smith will play Manson, Charlie Says will mostly detail the lives of three of his female followers and the student who’s sent into prison to teach them. The former Doctor will star alongside Hannah Murray (Game of Thrones), Marian Rendon (Imposters), Carla Gugino (Watchmen), Kaylie Carter and Merrit Wever (both seen in Godless). Rising British actress Suki Waterhouse, who’s set to appear in the upcoming Pokemon movie Detective Pikachu, has also been announced to have joined the production. While the rest of the cast members’ roles have yet to be specified, we do know that Wever will be playing Karlene Faith, the aforementioned student.
For more, here’s the official synopsis, courtesy of The Hollywood Reporter:
“Charlie Says will focus on the three young women (Murray, Young and Rendon) who were sentenced to death following the infamous murder case of Manson (Smith). When the death penalty was lifted, their sentence became life imprisonment. One young graduate student, Karlene Faith (Wever), was sent in to teach them, and through her the film will follow their transformations as they face the reality of their horrific crimes.”
Charlie Says will see director Mary Harron reunite with her American Psycho screenwriter Guinevere Turner, who based her script on the real Faith’s account of her time with Manson’s followers titled The Long Prison Journey of Leslie van Houten: Life Beyond The Cult. Another influence was the 1971 bestselling novel about the Manson Family murders, The Family by Ed Sanders.
Speaking about Turner’s work on the movie, Harron had this to say:
“Guinevere Turner’s script brings a fresh and unique perspective to the infamous story of the Manson murders and we have now found the perfect cast to bring it to life.”
Of course, this is just one of two films based around the life of Charles Manson that’s in the works. The other’s being helmed by Quentin Tarantino, with Leonardo DiCaprio set to star. QT’s effort is set to release in August of 2019, but we currently have no word on when Charlie Says will arrive on our screens. As always, though, we’ll let you know once we learn more.
Source: The Hollywood Reporter