Not one, not two, but three Charles Manson movies are coming. One of them, by Quentin Tarantino, however, is in jeopardy at Sony and may not get made at all.
Mary Harron, whose “I Shot Andy Warhol” is one of the great indie classics (cinematography by Ellen Kuras, Jared Harris in a landmark performane, Lili Taylor OMG good), is making “Charlie Says” with Matt Smith of “Dr. Who” and “The Crown” fame.
Hillary Duff has signed to play Sharon Tate, the late Mrs. Roman Polanski, murdered by the Manson family, in “The Haunting of Sharon Tate.” That one sounds like it’s straight to Lifetime, though.
The third Manson movie is the one from Quentin Tarantino with a $200 million plus budget and loads of stars– Brad Pitt, Margot Robbie, Tom Cruise– said to be involved.
But now I’m hearing that Sony is having second thoughts because of Tarantino’s double trouble in the press. First there was Uma Thurman’s accusations that her pal, Quentin, allowed her to film a scene in which she was seriously injured for “Kill Bill.” Thurman has back pedaled a bit since this started, and Quentin did a mea culpa, but it’s out there.
Then it was revealed on the Jezebel website that back in 2003, Tarantino told Howard Stern that 13 year old Samantha Geimer “wanted it” when she had sex with Polanski in 1977. Stern– otherwise irreverent– sounds startled on the tape when Tarantino asserts that what Polanski did to Geimer was just statutory rape. “You know all these 13 year old party girls,” Tarantino says.
Tarantino may have to find independent financing for his “Manson” movie at this point, especially if he was planning on depicting the Polanski story. (There’s some idea Cruise would play Polanski, although the Manson-Tate story takes place nine years before the Geimer episode.)
All of this is made possible by Manson himself having the good sense to die last year, clearing the way for lots of movies to be produced about his crazy self without interference.