Rob Zombie has teamed up with writer Bret Easton Ellis and Alcon Television to develop a project for Fox about the 1969 Manson Family murders, according to Variety.
The project, which is reportedly in a very early stage of development at Fox, will be directed by Zombie, who has long had a fascination with Charles Manson, the mastermind behind the gruesome California killings, which left actress Sharon Tate — who had been 8 1/2 months pregnant with filmmaker Roman Polanski’s child — and several others dead. In 2013, the former White Zombie singer turned filmmaker created the Rob Zombie’s Great American Nightmare Halloween haunted house attraction in Los Angeles, CA, which included elements from the Mansion Family killing spree.
The Fox project is being envisioned as a multipart limited series that tells converging stories from different points of view involving the people and the events surrounding the brutal murders, which took place August 8-9, 1969. No one particular source material has been optioned so far, as the plan is to use historical record to dramatize the stories.
Mansion, 79, is currently serving a life imprisonment sentence — commuted in 1972 from the death penalty when California temporarily eliminated capital punishment — at the Corcoran State Prison and has been famously denied parole 12 times. Although Manson did not actually committed any of the murders himself, he was convicted of first-degree murder through the joint-responsibility rule, which makes all participants of a conspiracy guilty of the crimes committed by the other conspirators if those crimes were committed to further their group objective. Manson, who was essentially a cult leader and master manipulator, was found to have conceived the murder plan and then ordered his loyal followers to enact it. He thought the deaths would spark “Helter Skelter” (taken from the name of The Beatles song), a race war that would lead to armageddon.
The concept for this Manson television series began with Zombie and Adam Kolbrenner and Robyn Meisinger of Madhouse Entertainment, who then brought it to Ellis (who wrote Less Than Zero and American Psycho) and Alcon. Variety quotes Zombie on his new venture:
“I have been obsessed with this insane story since I was a kid, so obviously I jumped at the chance to be involved in this incredible project. After speaking with Bret, I immediately realized that we shared the same vision for this epic madness,” Zombie said.
In an October 2013 interview with Loud Wire, Zombie talked about how he’s compelled by all things Charles Manson:
For me, anything having to do with what happened with Charles Manson is really compelling. Every book, every film, any article I can get my hands on having to do with that crime, I grab it. Any new picture, I can’t resist. There are just so many layers to it and it’s such a strange story and there are so many factors involved. It just never stops being fascinating to me.
While Zombie is obviously enthusiastic about this collaboration with Ellis, this Manson Family television venture has not yet been greenlit.
We want to point out that after the news broke last week that Zombie was putting aside his long-gestating hockey film to do another horror film in the vein of his The Devil’s Rejects, our own Famous Monster took to Twitter to say that what the The Lords of Salem director really should be doing is making a Zodiac-like feature about Charles Manson.
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