​Charlie Says Trailer Shows Matt Smith Play the Infamous Cult Leader Manson

While many of us are still used to thinking of Matt Smith as the friendly and accommodating Eleventh Doctor Who, the new trailer for forthcoming film Charlie Says shows the actor portraying someone a lot less wholesome - cult leader Charles Manson.

Directed by Mary Harron, the film sees Smith step into the character of the infamous Manson Family leader, with Suki Waterhouse, Hannah Murray, Sosie Bacon, Marianne Rendón and Chace Crawford in supporting roles.

The trailer introduces us to the four central women, but we also see Smith as he appears as Manson in a series of flashbacks.

The synopsis reads: "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.

Still from Charlie Says trailer. Credit: IFC Films
Still from Charlie Says trailer. Credit: IFC Films

"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."

Manson, who died in prison in 2017 at the age of 83, was known for forming the Californian quasi-commune which became known as the Manson Family - which was responsible for several high profile murders, including the Hollywood actor Sharon Tate, who was also pregnant at the time.

Manson was found guilty of first-degree murder and conspiracy to commit murder for the deaths of seven people in 1971.

He was handed the death penalty, but his sentence was commuted to life with the possibility of parole when California got rid of the death penalty in 1972.

Charlie Says is set to be released in the US on 10 May 2019. A UK release date, however, has yet to be announced.

Jess Hardiman

Jess Hardiman is a journalist who graduated from Manchester University with a BA in Film Studies, English Language and Literature, and has previously worked for Time Out and The Skinny among others.

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