×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Amazon Studios Takes Film Rights to Manson-Centered Drama ‘Chaos’ (EXCLUSIVE)

Just in time for the 50th anniversary of the grisly murders executed by the followers of Charles Manson, Amazon Studios has optioned film rights to a nonfiction title about a journalist who spent decades obsessively following the case.

The studio will adapt “Chaos: Charles Manson, the CIA, and the Secret History of the Sixties,” from author Tom O’Neill with Dan Piepenbring. O’Neill was assigned a magazine story on the legacy of the infamous Manson saga in 1999, disappearing into the complex and shadowy cultural vortex the events created in America. The film will follow O’Neill as a protagonist, he said.

Christopher Kyle (“Alexander,” “K-19: The Widowmaker”) is writing for screen. Anne Carey and Amy Nauiokas of media venture Archer Gray will produce the project. The project was originally in development at Netflix with Academy Award winner Errol Morris attached as a producer,  O’Neill revealed in a recent wide-ranging chat with Los Angeles Press Club president Chris Palmeri. He withdrew from development over creative differences, he said.

Manson will be everywhere in the coming days, thanks to the upcoming Quentin Tarantino film “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood,” which sees Brad Pitt and Leonardo DiCaprio as aging showbiz players living next door to Sharon Tate — the site of her real-life murder on Benedict Canyon’s Cielo Drive. The film opens July 26.

Popular on Variety

Read the full synopsis for “Chaos”:

A journalist’s twenty-year obsession leads to shocking new conspiracy theories about the CIA and FBI’s manipulation of the counterculture in this fascinating reevaluation of one of the most infamous cases in American history, the Manson Murders.

More Film

  • MADRID-CONTENT-CITY-RAUL-BERDONÉS

    Secuoya, Planeta Launch Madrid Content City, Site of Netflix’s First European Production Hub

    Spain’s Secuoya Studios has teamed with publishing giant the Planeta Group to expand Madrid Content City, the audiovisual complex that hosts Netflix first European Production Hub. Madrid Content City will multiply by a factor of seven its current operating area of 22,000 square-meters (236,806 square-feet). In total, Madrid Content City will span 140,000 square-meters (1.5 [...]

  • Imogen Poots

    'Black Christmas' Star Imogen Poots on Why Male Horror Fans Should See Slasher Remake

    “Black Christmas” is the second remake of the 1974 slasher classic, which centers on a group of sorority sisters stalked by an unknown murderer. While the original had the female protagonists (SPOILER) offed, in this one, the women fight back. “It’s been called a re-imagining of the original, and I think, in ways that the [...]

  • Imogen Poots as Riley in "Black

    'Black Christmas': Film Review

    “Black Christmas,” a low-budget Canadian horror movie released in 1974, was a slasher thriller with a difference: It was the very first one! Okay, there were more than a few precedents, from “Psycho” (the great-granddaddy of the genre) to “The Last House on the Left” and “The Texas Chain Saw Massacre” to Mario Bava’s “A [...]

  • David Benioff, D.B. Weiss. Creators and

    'Game of Thrones' Creators to Develop H.P. Lovecraft Movie at Warner Bros.

    Following their exit from the “Star Wars” universe, “Game of Thrones” co-creators David Benioff and D.B. Weiss have found their replacement pic, signing on to produce an untitled thriller based on the graphic novel “Lovecraft” for Warner Bros. It is unknown if they will also direct the project, but they’ve already set Phil Hay and [...]

  • Little Women Greta Gerwig BTS

    Greta Gerwig and 'Little Women' Crew Mix Modern and Classical

    Greta Gerwig wrote and directed Sony’s “Little Women,” a new look at Louisa May Alcott’s much-loved 19th-century classic. Eager to pay tribute to her artisan colleagues, Gerwig says, “It was a joy for me to work with all these people. It’s a movie that’s impossible to create without world-class artists. They killed themselves for me!” [...]

  • Honey Boy

    Shia LaBeouf's 'Honey Boy' Adds Unusual Twist to Oscar's History With Kids

    Hollywood has made many terrific films about childhood, and many about filmmaking. Amazon’s “Honey Boy,” which opened Nov. 8, combines the two: A movie with a child’s POV of the industry. That unique angle could be a real benefit during awards season, and the film’s backstory — with Shia LaBeouf as the main attraction — will [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content