Most of the Manson Family has been cast in writer-director extraordinaire Quentin Tarantino’s upcoming film Once Upon A Time In Hollywood, a tale of Los Angeles and the movie industry in the late 1960s using the iconic Manson Family murders as a backdrop and lens into the juicy subject matter. Highly-respected television character actor Damon Herriman got the nod to play the hippie-cult guru Manson, a failed and frustrated musician who attracted a following of mostly young, impressionable, eager-to-please women and eventually had them kill for him. Many of those women’s roles are off the market as well, with Dakota Fanning and Lena Dunham leading the way in bringing the “Manson Girls,” to life on the big screen.

Manson ordered the slayings of nine people in the summer of 1969, eight occurring over 48 hours in August. The murder spree included the brutal killings of burgeoning Hollywood starlet Sharon Tate, the heiress to the Folgers Coffee fortune, Abigail Folger and Jay Sebring, an in-demand male hairdresser to the stars who served as the inspiration for Warren Beatty’s libidinous lead character in the movie Shampoo. They were slaughtered together alongside Folger’s boyfriend and a teenager in the wrong place at the wrong time on the first night of what Manson deemed “Helter Skelter,” his attempt to set off a race war.

Manson and four of his followers were convicted at trial in 1971. Manson himself died behind bars last year at 83. He

Tarantino’s film is chalk-full of high-wattage acting talent and centers on a fictional past-his-prime actor (Leonardo DiCaprio) and his stunt double (Brad Pitt) and their struggle identifying with and thriving in a changing industry landscape. DiCaprio’s character is neighbors with Tate. The project has been shooting since June and is slated for a July 2019 release to theatres. Tate was married to Oscar-winning director Roman Polanski. Actress Margot Robbie (I, Tonya, The Wolf of Wall Street) is playing Tate. Sebring, her former boyfriend, will be played by Emile Hirsch (Into The Wild, Alpha Dog).

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Sharon Tate

Herriman is best known for his memorable supporting roles in critically-acclaimed TV shows Justified and Breaking Bad. He played another notorious criminal in the Clint Eastwood-helmed 2011 movie J. Edgar, portraying Bruno Hauptmann, the man responsible for kidnapping and killing the “Lindberg Baby” in 1932, in the biopic of longtime FBI director J. Edgar Hoover.

Besides hiring Herriman for the Manson role, Tarantino has also tapped actors to play Charles (Tex) Watson, Manson’s right-hand man, and followers Lynette (Squeaky) Fromme, Catherine (Gypsy) Share, Kathryn (Kitty Kat) Lutesinger, Patricia (Katie) Krenwinkle and Leslie (Lulu) Van Houten. Watson, Krenwinkle and Van Houten were convicted in taking part in the so-called Tate-LaBianca slayings.

The role of Susan (Sadie) Atkins, Manson’s main female henchman and the woman who stabbed a pregnant Tate to death inside her Benedict Canyon mansion on August 9, 1969, has yet to be filled. The role of Linda Kasabian, the Manson Girl turned star witness for the prosecution, is still vacant too.

Van Houten was only present on the second night of the murders, helping Watson, Atkins and Krenwinkle kill married couple Leno and Rosemary LaBianca inside their home located in L.A.’s Los Feliz neighborhood on August 10, 1969. Manson was present at the LaBianca’s residence, however left before the killings occurred. He wasn’t at the Tate residence the night prior, but had sent Watson, Atkins, Krenwinkle and Kasabian to that particular estate because it once belonged to a music producer who declined to sign Manson to a record deal.

Early in the casting process, Dakota Fanning snagged the role of Squeaky Fromme, famous for trying to shoot U.S. President Gerald Ford in 1975 and being Manson’s mouthpiece to the press during his flashbulb-frenzy of a trial. Fanning has been in Hollywood since her childhood when she delivered well-received performances in studio movies from the 2000s like I Am Sam, Man on Fire and War of the Worlds.

Susan Atkin (L), Patricia Krenwinkle (C) & Leslie Van Houten (R) going to court in 1970

In recent weeks, one of Hollywood’s leading feminists, Lena Dunham, was cast as Gypsy Share, the Manson Family’s designated recruiter and lesser-known actresses Madison Beaty, Victoria Pedretti and Margaret Qualley, were selected to play Manson Girls Katie Krenwinkle, Lulu Van Houten and Kitty Lutesinger, respectively. Tracing his roots in the industry to the Disney and Nickelodeon brand of the late 2000s, actor Austin Baker (Hannah Montana, ICarly), walked away with the Tex Watson part.

Dunham created, wrote and starred in the Emmy-nominated HBO series Girls, which ended in 2017. Her character, Gypsy Share did five years in prison in the 1970s for trying to kill another Family member set to testify at the Manson trial by dousing a hamburger with LSD and staging an armed robbery of an outdoorsmen surplus store as part of an effort to spring Manson from custody.

Krenwinkle and Van Houten were put on trial alongside Manson. So was Sadie Atkins. They were all convicted in a marathon court proceeding lasting more than a year and garnering coverage from around the world. Watson was found guilty at a separate trial. Today in their 70s, Krenwinkle, Van Houten and Watson remain behind bars. Atkins died of brain cancer in a prison hospital in 2009.

This will be the second time Beaty portrays Krenwinkle. She played the Manson disciple in the NBC television show Aquarius two years ago. Beaty had a recurring role on ABC Family’s The Fosters. Qualley was one of the stars of the HBO show The Leftovers.

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