Chace Crawford, best known for his work on Gossip Girl, has joined Matt Smith in Charlie Says, an indie centering on the Charles Manson murders.
Mary Harron, who directed American Psycho, is helming the project that sees Smith portraying the infamous cult leader.
Suki Waterhouse (Assassination Nation), Hannah Murray (Game of Thrones), Odessa Young (Assassination Nation), Marianne Rendon (Imposters) and Carla Gugino (Watchmen) are among those on the call sheet.
The script by Guinevere Turner is based on the 1971 Ed Sanders book The Family as well as The Long Prison Journey of Leslie Van Houten (2001), written by Karlene Faith. Faith is also a key character played by Merritt Wever in the movie.
Charlie Says will focus on the three young women (played by Murray, Young and Rendon) who were sentenced to death following the infamous murder case of Manson (Smith). When the death penalty was lifted, their sentence became life imprisonment. One young graduate student, Faith (Wever), was sent in to teach them, and through her the film follows the girls’ transformations as they face the reality of their horrific crimes.
Crawford will play Tex Watson, a murdering member of the Manson family who was involved in the killing of actress Sharon Tate.
Charlie Says is the first of two Manson-themed movie projects that are being made this year, with Quentin Tarantino’s Once Upon a Time in Hollywood the other. The latter, which will star Leonardo DiCaprio and Brad Pitt, will shoot this summer.
Crawford played Nate Archibald for six seasons of Gossip Girl, and also starred with Don Johnson on the ABC drama Blood & Oil. He is also due to star in the Amazon series The Boys, based on the edgy Garth Ennis comic book, which will begin shooting in May.
Crawford is repped CAA, Eric Podwall at Podwall Entertainment and Hansen Jacobson.