There will be no shortage of projects featuring Charles Manson hitting streaming and theaters in 2019. Quentin Tarantino's Once Upon A Time In Hollywood will get a lot of the attention when it released this fall, but true crime fanatics will also get a chance to relive the Manson Family in May with Charlie Says.
The film stars Matt Smith of Doctor Who and The Crown fame as the infamous criminal, channeling his inner cult leader in the first trailer for the film.
The Manson projects we'll see in 2019 all seem to focus on a different aspect of the cult's existence, with Charlie Says focusing on the three women arrested for the Manson murders in the late '60s and the attempts of graduate student Karlene Faith to help them rehabilitate themselves while in prison. Hannah Murray, Sosie Bacon and Marianne Rendon play Leslie Van Houten, Patricia Krenwinkel and Susan Atkins, respectively in the film, with Walking Dead alum Merritt Wever playing Faith.
For Charlie Says, it seems that the killer will take a supporting role with Matt Smith playing up a more charming and psychological side of Manson.
The project will also mark a return for director Mary Harron to killer territory. Harron famously took on a fictional killer with the cult classic adaptation of Bret Easton Ellis' American Psycho. Her involvement with Charlie Says is noteworthy thanks to her feminist track record, especially with what she established in American Psycho.
Despite the controversial nature of the original book, Harron was lauded at the time for attempting to give the female perspective to the film's violence according to a profile in The Guardian from 2009. By focusing on the Manson girls in the new film, we'll get a real-world point of view that hasn't gotten the attention it deserves in the decades since the crimes.
As for the other high-profile Manson film, Tarantino's take on the Manson Family will tell an unrelated Hollywood story that circles around the murder of Sharon Tate, played by Margot Robbie alongside Brad Pitt and Leonardo DiCaprio in the lead roles.
Both films will be joined by The Haunting Of Sharon Tate in April. It is a horror take that focuses on the Tate murders themselves and the premonitions that preceded
Manson will also make his presence felt in the second season of Netflix's Mindhunter when it premieres in the first part of 2019. Much was made about how the show cast Damon Herriman for the role only days after he had been cast as Manson in Tarantino's film. It should be fun to compare the performance on the big screen to the prison version we'll see on Netflix.
Charlie Says premiered at the Venice Film Festival in September 2018 and is scheduled for wider release with IFC Films on May 10.