Just days after Quentin Tarantino cast Damon Herriman to play Charles Manson in Once Upon a Time In Hollywood, a report says David Fincher already cast the same actor to play Manson in season 2 of Mindhunter. The serial killer drama Mindhunter won critical raves for its first season on Netflix, and is set to return to the streamer in 2019.
Meanwhile, Tarantino is currently deep in production on his 1969-set drama Once Upon a Time In Hollywood, which features not only Manson but also several members of his notorious family, as well as the Manson Family’s most famous murder victim Sharon Tate. Margot Robbie plays Tate, who happens to be the next-door neighbor of the movie’s main characters, struggling TV actor Rick Dalton (Leonardo DiCaprio) and his stunt double Cliff Booth (Brad Pitt). The ensemble cast also includes Al Pacino, Burt Reynolds, Timothy Olyphant, Tim Roth, Kurt Russell, Dakota Fanning and many many more.
In a bizarre case of casting coincidence, Collider reports that the man Tarantino chose to portray Manson in his movie has already played Charles Manson once before, but nobody knew it yet. Reportedly, Damon Herriman (Justified) was tapped awhile ago to play Manson in season 2 of David Fincher’s Mindhunter, and in fact already shot his scenes back in July. As no one knows when Mindhunter season 2 will actually debut, it’s possible Herriman’s Manson performance in Tarantino’s film will be seen before his take on the character in Fincher’s drama.
Based on the experiences of real-life FBI profiler John E. Douglas, Mindhunter centers on a team of investigators as they interview incarcerated serial killers in order to learn clues about how the murderers’ minds work. Season 1 featured depictions of real life killers Ed Kemper and Richard Speck, and teased the season 2 arrival of the BTK Killer Dennis Rader. Season 2 is expected to feature more real killers like “Son of Sam” David Berkowitz and Wayne Williams. Manson too will obviously feature in the show’s second season, as portrayed by Herriman.
Though it may seem slightly awkward that both Tarantino’s film and Fincher’s series chose the exact same actor to play Manson, for Herriman this represents a very unique opportunity to give two different takes on the same character in two very different settings. Tarantino’s movie is sure to be quite outrageous and probably not entirely faithful to reality, which will presumably give Herriman a chance to portray Manson in a cartoonish, over-the-top fashion. On Mindhunter, Herriman will play a Manson who is many years older and already in jail, and no doubt his portrayal on that slower-paced and detail-oriented show will be very different from the Manson he creates for Tarantino.
It’s unknown as of now whether Tarantino was aware that Herriman had already played Manson in Mindhunter before he pursued the actor for Once Upon a Time In Hollywood. Of course, it’s also not known yet how heavily the Manson character will feature in either Mindhunter or Once Upon a Time In Hollywood, and there’s always the chance the character could be cut out of one or both of the projects before it’s all over.