‘Helter’ finds new shelter

Propaganda picks pic based on Bugliosi's Manson book

HOLLYWOOD — Propaganda Films has paid mid-six figures for feature rights to “Helter Skelter,” the 1975 book by former L.A. District Attorney Vincent Bugliosi that details the Manson Family murders and Bugliosi’s prosecution of Charles Manson. Warner Bros. Pictures has retained first rights to the worldwide distribution of the film.

Written by Bugliosi, who prosecuted the case, and Curt Gentry, “Helter Skelter” was originally adapted into a 1976 CBS small-screen movie of the same name and starred Steve Railsback as Manson. However, rights to “Helter Skelter” have been tied up since the 1986 purchase of that film’s producer, Lorimar Pictures, by Warners.

Pic would focus on Bugliosi’s investigation of the Manson murders. Propaganda will produce “Helter Skelter” with Platinum Pictures, which repped the “Helter Skelter” rights with Bugliosi.Propaganda’s Rick Hess and Brian Oliver will executive produce the film along with Bugliosi and Platinum’s president and CEO, Kurt Fethke. Deal was negotiated by Lisa Franklin on behalf of Propaganda.

Platinum recently completed production on “Absolutely 100% Guilty,” a 12-hour documentary based on Bugliosi’s best-seller “Outrage: The Five Reasons Why O.J. Simpson Got Away With Murder.”

Propaganda recently wrapped “Behind the Sun” starring Billy Bob Thornton and is nearing the end of production on “24 Hours” starring Charlize Theron. Company is also in production on “Welcome to Collinwood,” which stars William H. Macy.