Every once in a while, for no good reason, the film industry gets a little obsessed with things like volcanos and Truman Capote, resulting dueling projects like Volcano and Dante's Peak, or Capote and Infamous. Two is usually the limit, maybe three… But four? Just how special was this Charles Manson guy, anyway?
That's right, right now there are four Charles Manson biopics in various stages of development in Hollywood. Here's what we've got on them:
In The Family, Ryan Kwanten of HBO's True Blood will star was Charles Manson. The movie will trace Manson's life from childhood to his infamous killing spree. At CNN Kwanten said of the role, in a borderline shocking case of understatement, "It's going to be quite a challenge… [Manson] is undoubtedly a huge iconic figure and not necessarily for the best of deeds." Not necessarily?
Photographer Tyler Shields will direct and apparently star as Charles Manson in Eyes of a Dreamer, if Entertainment Weekly is correct. Shields also has a gimmick: he's trying to cast Lindsay Lohan as Manson's most famous victim, actress Sharon Tate. Says Shields, "Sharon Tate was a movie star, so I want [an actress who] you already have a backstory with. People have a backstory with somebody like Lindsay. And I think it's very relatable." Classy. We have a backstory with Lindsay Lohan, so you assume we want to see her horrifically murdered? Oh yes, Shields says he won't shy away from the brutality: "I'm just going to be directing people doing the craziest s*** they've ever done [but] I'm going to try to find a way to do it where it doesn't turn people off, but it gives you the feeling of it. I want this to really hit people in a really specific place."
Enchanted star James Marsden will play Charles Manson in Dead Circus, a film that fictionalizes the death of 'I Fought The Law' singer Bobby Fuller, which was officially declared a suicide but which some observers consider a murder. New Academy Award-winner Melissa Leo (The Fighter) will play a Manson Family matriarch who leads the film's protagonist to clues buried in Death Valley. So speaketh Deadline.
And of course there's Inherent Vice, a Paul Thomas Anderson-directed thriller starring Robert Downey Jr. as a stoner detective in the 1960's who gets mixed up in a bunch of different cases, the Manson Family murders among them. We haven't heard a peep about Inherent Vice in going on two months, but it's based on a novel by reclusive writer Thomas Pynchon so we're probably lucky to have heard anything at all.
Crave Online will be back with more Charles Manson news, but only if we really have to.