8:15 am EDT, March 13, 2019

Matt Smith is Charles Manson in ‘Charlie Says’ trailer

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Matt Smith is taking on the role of infamous serial killer Charles Manson in the trailer for his new film, Charlie Says.

Most of us know Matt Smith for his roles as the Eleventh Doctor on Doctor Who and Prince Philip on The Crown, but in his latest film, Charlie Says, we’ll see Matt Smith in a role far removed from the Doctor and the Royal Family. In Charlie Says, Smith plays the notorious Charles Manson.

We get a small taste of Smith as Manson in the newly-released trailer for the film. And much like those who consider David Tennant to be “their” Doctor and had to work through seeing him as the evil Kilgrave on Jessica Jones, those who consider Smith to be “their” Doctor will probably have a tough time seeing Smith as one of the evilest and most manipulative men in the modern era.

The trailer and the film as a whole aren’t solely focused on Charles Manson or the grisly murders at Sharon Tate’s home in 1969. Instead, the movie focuses on the women of the Manson family who were swept up in Manson’s charisma, charm, and his message of love, and how that loyalty and blind trust led them to perform brutal murders.

While Smith plays Charles Manson, the movie is full of highly talented actors. Merritt Wever plays Karlene Faith, a graduate student reaching out to the troubled women, and Manson family members and the women who killed for Manson, Susan Atkins, Leslie Van Houten, are played by Marianne Rendón, Hannah Murray, and Sosie Bacon, respectively. Chace Crawford rounds out the cast as Manson family member Tex Watson.

This movie looks like it will not just be a glamorized retelling of a horrific murder, but rather a study of how a charismatic leader can draw people to them, groom and manipulate their followers to whatever ends they see fit. And with such a powerful cast behind this challenging story, we can’t wait to see this one on the big screen.

Charlies Says releases in movies theaters on May 17.

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