As relayed by by The Hollywood Reporter, Matt Smith (Doctor Who, The Crown, Pride and Prejudice and Zombies) will play Charles Manson in Charlie Says. The film, directed by Mary Harron (American Psycho, Alias Grace), will revolve around the three young women who received life in prison in the aftermath of the Manson murder case. Karlene Faith, a graduate student, (to be played by The Walking Dead and Godless alum Merritt Wever) then becomes their tutor as they remain in prison. The film will use the focal point of her perspective as the women come to terms with what they have done.
Charlie Says is based on Ed Sanders’ 1971 book The Family. It will also gather its source material from The Long Prison Journey of Leslie Van Houten, which was written by Faith, who passed away in 2017 after fighting for the release of Leslie Van Houten (to be played by Game of Thrones star Hannah Murray), the youngest Manson killer. The movie also stars Carla Gugino (Gerald’s Game, San Andreas) and Suki Waterhouse (The Bad Batch, Detective Pikachu).
Smith rounds out an excellent cast. They will begin filming this spring in Los Angeles. Harron enthuses about the cast in a statement: “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.”
Smith will next appear onscreen in Patient Zero, where he will try to create a cure that will save humanity even though Moonpies clearly already exist. He will also star in Mapplethorpe, where he will portray photographer Robert Mapplethorpe.