Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Oliver Stone Meets Charles Manson

Really. Or at least, credible rumors have Stone talking to Vincent Bugliosi, the Los Angeles County Assistant District Attorney whose Helter Skelter. remains the best-know account of the Manson murders (though my favorite is Ed Sanders' The Family — he's got the better feel for what the counterculture was really like).

Helter Skelter has been filmed twice for television, but this would be a theatrical film, and if anyone knows how to tap into the bad '60s vibe that helped Spawn the Manson family, it's Oliver Stone; the whole idea smacks of "Natural Born Killers: The Beginning."

But for me the big question is who would play Charlie. The first version of Helter Skelter featured Steve Railsback's career-making (and -breaking) performance as Manson: Making because it rocketed the unknown actor to instant fame, breaking because it typecast him. The second starred Jeremy Davies (Lost), who delivered and equally intense, but oddly less compelling, performance. And off the top of my head I can't think of a likely candidate.



Anonymous said...

James Caviezel from Passion of the Christ would be an excellent choice, and a daring one. How nuts would it for him to flip from playing the Messiah to playing someone who claimed to be the messiah?

llc said...

My choice would be Peter Sarsgaard. Usually plays men in complete control but has the maniac style to pull it off (and is not the huge star, which is almost always a complete distraction in a biopic).
This is a stupid idea unless Stone takes a really different approach to the material. The first is a great legal drama, the second version is a pretty good image of Manson. Unless Stone made the film about the media coverage and public fear (like Summer of Sam) I don't see this being a great idea.