Bret Easton Ellis, Rob Zombie Team on Manson Murders Project for Fox (Exclusive)

Bret Easton Ellis, Rob Zombie Team

Writer Bret Easton Ellis and director Rob Zombie 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 been fascinated by the Manson Family slayings, which left seven people dead in the Los Angeles area. 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 multipart series, but it is one of many limited series projects in the works and is far away from receiving a greenlight.

The idea for the project began with Zombie and Adam Kolbrenner and Robyn Meisinger of Madhouse Entertainment. They developed the concept and brought it to Ellis and Alcon. To date, no source material has been optioned for the project, which plans to take an original approach to dramatizing stories drawn from the historical record.

Ellis, Zombie and the Madhouse principals will exec produce with Alcon’s Sharon Hall, Andrew Kosove and Broderick Johnson. Ben Roberts and Ryan Cunningham serve as co-producers.

“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.

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.

Ellis most recently penned the micro-budgeted Lindsay Lohan starrer “The Canyons,” released last year by IFC. Zombie’s last directorial effort was the 2013 indie “The Lords of Salem.”

(Pictured: Bret Easton Ellis, left, and Rob Zombie)

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  1. To hell with Manson.
    Anything about him is wasted print.

    George Vreeland Hill

  2. zombie’s early work is great in music but the only decent film he put out imo is house of 1000 corpses. american psycho was great too so here’s hoping their minds will meld proper like. but the fact their doing it for fox wories me. fox has very few decent shows the only exceptional shows are fringe and simpsons. 20th century fox studios which paradoxicaly produces crap tv and stellar movies. but thats only due to good scripts and directors. if they touch on schreck’s book the manson files then they might just have something.

  3. Chris says:

    Wow another eppic movie coming from the man who knows to make a great movie with out any instruction.

  4. Rainbow says:

    I think its a great idea, if some of the event’s of that day can be brought to light for the younger generation who don’t know the whole story, I say bring it on. Zombie is a great directer and given the respect he has for the victims, i don’t think he’ll do a bad job. (y)

  5. steve mackey says:

    I will boycott the sponsors that finance this piece of trash. Leave the memory of Sharon and her family along a**holes.

  6. Demetri Mark says:

    This is so wrong!!!.. Why give Manson anymore news headlines.. we are talking about people who lost there lives in the most gruesome way possible.. Everyone knows what happened. this is a big mistake.

  7. RedInDenver says:

    I read “Helter Skelter” years ago (written by Vincent Bugliosi, the prosecutor in the Manson trials). I have seen a few of the countless specials on this murder, the investigation, the trial, etc. etc.

    I can’t imagine there are that many people who don’t already know most of the facts and at least some of the minor details. As for me, watching another re-hash of this decades-old incident just seems like a waste of time.

  8. Kevin Mangold says:

    Is this movie based on the Bill Scanlon Murphy unreleased book “Live Freaky, Die Freaky”? If so, it could end up being a real eye-opener!

  9. GLW says:

    Watch a pregnant woman get stabbed….no thanks.

  10. Robert Huston says:

    This portends to be very good with Brett writing the script and Zombie directing the episodes. I hope FOX green lights it.

  11. eaterofbirds says:

    relax..Rob Zombie is just a horror buff and found a subject he wanted to do a film on. Hillis is just the writer to pen a smart enough script that will tighten things up a bit for him. Has nothing to do with modern day era conspiracies and overlooking historical tragedies and your own political beliefs..get off your soapbox

  12. Tzeph says:

    Look up Waco, a New Revelation… GOOD FILM!!!!

  13. bw1 says:

    fox news is really getting desperate for viewers ;)

  14. Jumpin' Jack says:

    Right on! More gruesome fare for Kabal TV….we really need to see these deaths and the drugs….

  15. Barb says:

    This happened back when we could still feel shame and horror. Who dreamed how much worse it could get?

  16. pjd says:

    Hollywood does not deal in life-affirming pictures anymore. We won’t see this mess.

  17. Brittany Acosta says:

    i actually worked for Rob Zombie last October for his haunt the Great American Nightmare. I would love to be a part of yet another masterpiece vision of his.

  18. glen francis says:

    “life-in-prisonment?” i guess that’s what you say if you can’t say imprisonment.

  19. Shaniqua Braxton says:

    That Manson dude be rascis

  20. Vlad Gordetzky says:

    Bret is great at capturing the illness of society. I hope this is more about the victims than the perp. Multiple points of view seems to indicate that. If he is brave enough so show what a waste case nut job this guy was and how we have always looked the other way when warning signs were there – this could be interesting. The madhouse guys seem to gravitate to these stories about the criminal mind. I loved prisoners.

  21. Stone Bluff says:

    I heard Vincent Bugliosi, the prosecuting attorney speak in 1991. Finally read his book Helter Skelter about 5 years ago. His talk and the book are chilling. If MANSON WAS labeled as the

    Why anybody would want to make ANY miniseries or documentary about Manson is beyond my understanding. He was one person who should be forgotten. Kind of like Hitler, I guess. Some folks are so strange you have to look just to make sure they are real. Sort of reminds me of roadkill that is so bad you have to look in the rear-view mirror just to see if it was really there.

    • Sock Puppet says:

      The real question is why does anyone want to make movie after movie about bloody, bloody murder. Oh I know; its because you and your generation of degenerates think it is ‘cool’.

  22. Hiedi says:

    Can’t wait. Love Rob Zombie. I just finished Jeff Guinn’s book The Life and Times of Charles Manson, fantastic!

  23. People need to stop giving this twisted, psychopathic waste of skin so much exposure. He’s been stealing air for 45yrs and its enough already. He can’t die soon enough to suit me.

  24. ..I myself am psyched about this up and coming series, manson murder project..I have been a huge fan of Rob Zombie, as a muscian, when he rocked out his band white zombie,..It was sad to see him disperse the band, but in doing so went on to write&direct House Of A 1,000 Corpses, which turned out amazingly, as did every movie which followed. I would not be surprised (if & when the Manson Murders Project is schedule to air), I truely believe by the end of the first sean Zombie & Ellis are looking at a good chance of being nominated for best new dramatic suspense thriller on television, with the possibility of nominations in a variety of catagories,..Zombie has always went all out, balls to the wall,.Whether it be in his music,melting our brains with his heavy guitar riffs, brain numbing drum solos, & his psycodellic music videos of White Zombie, to going solo, leaving White Zombie, going on to break into the movie bussiness..I truely believe this will be yet another great accomplishment for zombie, concreting his rightful place amongst the greats of the film industry, along side Stephen King, Dean Snider (Strange Land),Quiten Taritino (Death Proof, Dusk Till Dawn 1&2), just to name a couple..

    • Wow, Bobert, you are a true Rob Zombie fan! How else could you know all this. Fantastic biography, yet quite subjective. Loved it.

      I totally agree on the films you reviewed. “House Of A 1,000 Corpses, which turned out amazingly, as did every movie which followed”. Great observation. So true! Lords of Salem <3 El Superbeasto <3
      Halloween 2. Perfect movies!

      And I would also not be surprised that you will truly believe E&Z will have good chance of getting nominated for best new dramatic suspense thriller on television. That's a pretty prestigious award to have a good chance of being nominated for. And that only by the end of the first sean (scene? season? whatever). But as I said; I would not be surprised you will eventually believe that.

      Btw, I also really admire Quiten Taritino. I'm from Norway, and here we call him Quentin Tarantino. I've heard he also made Pulp Fiction, Inglorious Basterds and Reservoir Dogs in addition to the great ones you referred to. Is this true?

      Was a pleasure reading your personal opinions bro.

      Keep on writin'!!


    • Stone Bluff says:

      I don’t care how gifted the writer and director are. Manson does not deserve a footnote in the history of the world. Helter Skelter was supposed to cause the blacks to riot. Then Manson and company would swoop down and take control of the blacks .MANSON IS NOTHING MORE THAN A WHITE SUPREMACIST. How about a series about David Duke (sorry, I am showing my age) or better yet Robert Byrd the congressman who was a member of the KKK. Why do we remove the names of klansmen from monuments, buildings and streets, yet want to see Manson in detail. He is no different.

  25. Nancy Ridgeway says:

    There is so much gore on TV now and who wants to revisit this stupid Manson thing anyway? You wonder why your children are the way they are today.

  26. Just what we need to distract us as Rome burns…More mindless entertainment.

  27. Walter says:

    California didn’t abolish the death penalty. The Supreme Court ruled in 1972 the WAY it was applied was unconstitutional, so most states divided guilt and punishment into separate phases. California reinstituted the death penalty (see Tookie Williams) in 1978.

    You’re welcome.

  28. David Oman says:

    Well that is interesting considering that I live down the drive from where the Tate house stood and have had my faif share of Spirit Activity here at my home, directly connected to the Tate murders. Check out my youtube channel of the paranormal activity captured here as recently as 1 week ago.

    • JJ says:

      Geez David….are you gonna make a career out of it? The Zombie/Easton-Ellis project has absolutely nothing to do with your spook house…. and while I’m at it, hosting a paid admission party on the anniversary of the Tate murder is incredibly tasteless, IMO.

      • Major Player says:

        Wouldn’t you guess that David Omen uses every form of media outlet, including this comments section to hawk his stupid ass $tory and gatther but yet more attention to the bull crap of para normal activity down the street on Cielo Drive. Really now David can’t you come up with another form of revenue???

  29. snoee says:

    Mansons due to marry if hasnt yet. Im not sure y they would let a. Mind game master to have and contact to people knowing thats his weapon..but it is america

  30. ShutUpAndBail says:

    Nothing could top Six Degrees of Helter Skelter as the definitive Mason documentary.

  31. RJ says:

    Don’t forget to include the fact that Charles “Tex” Watson, Bruce Davis and other Cult members became BIBLE totting CHRIST-ians while in Prison.

    • RJ says:

      And that Charles “Tex” Watson got married in Prison and had children of his own…! ! !
      He is now divorced and X-wife is remarried and lives in Arroyo Grande…and goes to church there.

      • Stone Bluff says:

        God forgives, but there are still consequences for ones actions before believing. They are humans and grace is there if they accept it, BUT it is not a get out of jail free card.

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