[TV] Rob Zombie and Bret Easton Ellis Revisit the Manson Murders

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Variety broke the news Thursday night that “American Psycho” author Bret Easton Ellis and director Rob Zombie – the shock-rocker who directed House of 1,000 Corpses, Devil’s Rejects, Halloween and Lords of Salem – have teamed with Alcon Television to develop a project for Fox that will revisit the people and events connected to the Manson Family murder spree in August 1969.

The project is envisioned as a limited series, but it is in the very early stages of development with Fox. Ellis is set to write the script and some additional materials. Zombie is on board to direct.

Zombie has long had a fascination with the Manson Family slayings, which left seven people dead in the Los Angeles area, explains the site. Among the victims were actress Sharon Tate, who was eight and a half months pregnant at the time with the child of director Roman Polanski, and prominent Hollywood hairstylist Jay Sebring.

The killings were so gruesome, and the stories of Charles Manson’s level of control of his drug-addled young followers so disturbing, that Manson was convicted of first-degree murder and conspiracy charges even though he was never found to have committed a homicide himself.

Manson’s clutch of cult followers have been suspected of many other murders during that era. But it was sheer brutality and psychopathic theatricality of the killings (complete with messages written in blood at the crime scenes) unleashed on Aug. 8-9, 1969, that jolted the nation’s psyche.

The Ellis-Zombie collaboration aims to tell converging stories of people and events leading up to and after the murders, from shifting points of view. The project is envisioned as a multi-part series, but it is one of many limited series projects in the works and is far away from receiving a greenlight.

Manson was sentenced to death in 1971, but the sentence changed to life in prison when California abolished the death penalty the following year. He has been denied parole 12 times.

  • rnem80

    hopefully this isn’t the horror he was referring to and he has more up his sleeve though I think he and Bret would make a great combo.

  • haruspex

    At this point Manson has more integrity than Rob.

    • doomas10

      Good job comparing a crazy psychopath’s integrity with a shock rocker’s one.

    • djblack1313

      @haruspex, your comment is not only insulting but it’s incredibly stupid.

      • Wah Wah Wah

        ^ This.

  • mav07

    Why do people continue to feed this A holes ego? Him, along with the girls should have been executed long ago!

  • parsyeb

    Didn’t anyone see Jim Van Bebber’s fantastic Manson Family? Pretty much renders this kind of project useless, I’d say, as Zombie’s 60s fetishism has already been well-covered by an even better director.

  • DBZEROGRAVITY

    I’ve been hoping for a long time that Zombie would tackle a Manson movie but I’ll take a TV series if I have to. The Devil’s Rejects captured that gritty feel already. Count me in

  • Evan3

    Wow – two of the most overrated people working today (and let’s talk honestly – American Psycho really does suck – and its easily the best Easton Ellis adaptation I have seen). You can count me out of this.

  • Mr.Mirage

    Photo: Rob Zombie explains the number of fucks he gives… 2, apparently. Presumably, they have already expired.

  • woodchuck

    Zombie does have a lot of homages to the Manson Family in his flicks. Especially in Devil’s Rejects when he Otis says “I’m the Devil, and I’m here to do the Devil’s business.” and in Corpses when the one dude says how the Manson chicks are kind of hot.