Matt Smith will play the infamous Charles Manson in director Mary Harron’s Charlie Says
The Hollywood Reporter has announced that Matt Smith (Doctor Who, The Crown) will be playing infamous criminal and cult leader Charles Manson in director Mary Harron’s (American Psycho) upcoming feature, Charlie Says. British actress Suki Waterhouse (Assassination Nation, Detective Pikachu), has joined the drama as well.
Alongside Smith and Waterhouse, Hannah Murray (Game of Thrones), Odessa Young (Assassination Nation), Marianne Rendon (Imposters), Carla Gugino (Sin City, Watchmen), Kaylie Carter (Godless) and the Emmy Award-winning Merritt Wever (Nurse Jackie, The Walking Dead) have also been cast in the upcoming film.
The drama will focus on the three women (Murray, Young, and Rendon) who were sentenced to death in Manson’s (Smith) murder case. The death penalty was ultimately lifted, altering their sentence into life imprisonment. Wever plays Karlene Faith, a young graduate student who was sent to teach them. Through Faith, Charlie Says will follow the three women’s transformations as they face the reality of their horrific crimes.
Guinevere Turner, who wrote American Psycho alongside Harron, penned the screenplay based on source material from Ed Sanders’ 1971 best-selling book, The Family, as well as Karlene Faith’s book, The Long Prison Journey of Leslie Van Houten. Harron remarked that 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.”
Roxwell Films’ Jeremy M. Rosen (Dog Eat Dog) and Kevin Shulman (I Am Fear) are producing Charlie Says, with Dana Guerin, Michael Guerin, David Hillary, and Ed Sanders serving as executive producers. Kerry Barden and Paul Schnee, who also worked with Harron on American Psycho as well as films Se7en, Dallas Buyers Club, and Spotlight, are handling the casting for the film.
Charlie Says is set to shoot in Los Angeles in the spring and will be introduced to buyers in Berlin later this month, where it will initially be launched.