Bret Easton Ellis & Rob Zombie Team for Manson Family Murder Series at Fox

By February 28, 2014

There’s all sorts of horror thriving on the small screen from “The Walking Dead” and “American Horror Story” on cable to “Hannibal” and “The Following” on the big networks. Now a cult favorite director from the horror film genre is headed to the flickering box for his next project.

Variety has word that musician-turned-filmmaker Rob Zombie, the man behind House of 1,000 Corpses and the remake of Halloween, is working with “American Psycho” author Bret Easton Ellis on a new series at Fox that will follow the people involved with the infamous Manson Family murders in 1969.

Right now the project is being developed as a limited series, but Fox is still in the early stages of development. As one would likely guess, Ellis will script the series and Zombie would direct. The gruesome story of the creepy family, including leader Charles Manson and his cult followers, is prime material for an odd horror director like Zombie, especially since he’s had an almost worrisome fascination with the killings, even basing some of his horror work off their real-life actions. Zombie says:

“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.”

The Manson family murders are some of the most famous and heinous crimes in American history, with seven victims counted in August of 1969, including actress Sharon Tate, who was eight and a half months pregnant with the child of director Roman Polanski’s child at the time of her death. While seven murders doesn’t seem like a lot (honestly, one murder is too much), what really made them stand out was just how brutal and insane the crime scenes were, complete with messages written in blood.

The series would track several different points of view, following a variety of people and events leading up to the actual killings themselves and the aftermath as well. However, the project doesn’t yet have a greenlight, so it’s still waiting in the wings to move forward. Unlike most of the horror fare on TV, this one has the added spook factor of being based on real events, which might make it stand apart from its contemporaries.

Even creepier is the fact that Charles Manson is currently serving life in prison. He was actually sentenced to death, but California has abolished the death penalty, so he sits in prison and has been denied parole 12 times. There’s something unsettling about the idea that Manson might get the chance to see his bloody work dramatized into a TV series, but we’re betting he doesn’t get much TV time where he is. Anyway, this is an interesting teaming of creative forces, and we’ll let you know if this series gets closer to becoming a reality.

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Ethan Anderton
Some of his favorite films include Ghostbusters, The Empire Strikes Back and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, while his favorite TV series include LOST, Mad Men, 30 Rock, Parks & Recreation, Arrested Development and Saturday Night Live.