After shepherding Patrick Bateman into the cinematic lexicon, filmmaker Mary Harron is chronicling the life of another American psycho, Charles Manson, for her next project, and she’s reportedly tasked The Crown star Matt Smith with bringing the late serial killer back to life.
Smith will play the murderous mastermind in the upcoming film Charlie Says, according to The Hollywood Reporter. The film will follow three young women who, after being sentenced to death for their role in the Manson murders, were spared their punishment and instead given a life sentence. A graduate student, Karlene Faith, was tasked with reeducating the women, and the film’s narrative will explore through her eyes the trio’s transformation as they come to terms with their horrific crimes.
Suki Waterhouse, Merrit Wever, Carla Gugino, Hannah Murray, Kaylie Carter, and Marianne Rendon have also joined the cast the drama, which Harron will direct from a screenplay written by her American Psycho scribe Guinevere Turner. Turner wrote the screenplay with inspiration from Ed Sanders’ 1971 book The Family, as well as Faith’s written account of her work, The Long Prison Journey of Leslie Van Houten.
“Guinevere Turner’s script brings a fresh and unique perspective to the infamous story of the Manson murders,” Harron told THR. “We have now found the perfect cast to bring it to life.”
Reps for Smith did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
The film will be shopped to distributors at Berlinale later this month and is expected to begin filming in Los Angeles this spring.