Matt Smith is Charles Manson in First Trailer for Mary Harron’s ‘Charlie Says’

Written by on March 13, 2019 

This summer will bring what we imagine is a fitting double feature with Quentin Tarantino’s Once Upon a Time in Hollywood and Mary Harron’s Charlie Says, both exploring a Charles Manson-era Los Angeles. The latter, which will arrive first and captures the infamous cult leader seemingly with more breadth, has now released its first trailer.

Coming from the American Psycho (a fitting title for this film, too) duo of Harron and writer Guinevere Turner, the film stars Matt Smith as Manson, but it’s more specifically about the group of women who fell under his spell. Following a premiere at Venice Film Festival, IFC Films will release the film this May.

Also starring Hannah Murray, Sosie Bacon, Marianne Rendón, Chace Crawford, Suki Waterhouse, Kayli Carter, and Annabeth Gish, see the trailer below.

Years after the shocking murders that made the name Charles Manson synonymous with pure evil, the three women who killed for him—Leslie Van Houten (Hannah Murray), Patricia Krenwinkel (Sosie Bacon), and Susan Atkins (Marianne Rendón)—remain under the spell of the infamous cult leader (Matt Smith). Confined to an isolated cellblock in a California penitentiary, the trio seem destined to live out the rest of their lives under the delusion that their crimes were part of a cosmic plan—until empathetic graduate student Karlene Faith (Merritt Wever) is enlisted to rehabilitate them. Convinced the prisoners are not the inhuman monsters the world believes them to be, Karlene begins the arduous process of breaking down the psychological barriers erected by Manson. But are the women ready to confront the horror of what they did? Boundary pushing auteur Mary Harron (AMERICAN PSYCHO, I SHOT ANDY WARHOL) presents a provocative new perspective on one of the most notorious crimes of the 20th century.

Charlie Says opens on May 10.

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