IFC Films has released the first trailer for its upcoming biographical crime drama Charlie Says, giving viewers their first look at former Doctor Who star Matt Smith as the notorious Charles Manson.
The film is based on two books, The Family: The Story of Charles Manson's Dune Buggy Attack Battalion by Ed Sanders and The Long Prison Journey of Leslie Van Houten by Karlene Faith, and tells a story that's less about Mansion and more about Van Houten (Hannah Murray), Patricia Krenwinkel (Sosie Bacon), and Susan Atkins (Marianne Rendon) as well as the efforts of Faith (Merritt Wever) to rehabilitate the girls behind bars as the serve time for murders and crimes they committed for Manson. You can check out the trailer in the video above.
The trailer appears to focus directly on Van Houten's experiences and recollections in joining Manson's Family and Smith's take on the infamous figure is striking -- a far cry from his compassionate Eleventh Doctor on Doctor Who or even his portrayal of Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburg in the first two seasons of Netflix's The Crown.
Manson was the leader of what became known as the Manson Family, a California-based commune in the late 1960s. In 1969, his followers committed a series of nine murders, the most infamous of which were the Tate-LaBianca murders in which Atkins, Krenwinkel, Van Houten along with three others murdered actress Sharon Tate, who was pregnant at the time, along with a total of six others over the course of two nights in August 1969. Manson, who was convicted of murder and conspiracy in 1971 and ultimately sentenced to life in prison, died in 2017.
You can check out the official synopsis for Charlie Says 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 is set to release on May 10th.
What do you think about Smith's transformation into Manson? Let us know in the comments below.