Hilary Duff… Disney’s first manufactured starlett, simultaneously conquering the worlds of television and music at the same time. From 2001 to 2004 she infamously starred as Lizzie McGuire in the television show of the same name, and acquired three multi-platinum albums thanks to Top 40 hits like “Coming Clean,” “So Yesterday” and “Wake Up.” Her career came to an impasse for several years before she returned to major mainstream work with guest roles featured in episodes of “Raising Hope” and “Two and a Half Men,” and culminating in a starring on TV Land drama “Younger.” Her latest album, “Breathe In/Breathe Out,” even managed a Top 5 debut. Of course, any entertainer desires bigger and better roles as they grow into a new phase of their career, and Hilary has maybe found her most mature role to date – if not her most controversial.
The Haunting of Sharon Tate is an upcoming independent film, currently in post-production, that sees Hilary Duff starring as the late actress Sharon Tate. You already know how the real, sad story goes. Sharon Tate was poised to become the next It Girl in Hollywood. In the late 1960’s, her name was growing tremendous, international recognition due to leading roles in Eye of the Devil (1966), The Fearless Vampire Killers (1967), Don’t Make Waves (1967) and The Wrecking Crew (1968). Unfortunately, her time on this earth was cut short in August of 1969 in an event that has out-shown her cinematic achievements. Eight and a half months pregnant with husband Roman Polanski’s baby, Sharon was the last victim in the “Tate Murders” perpetrated by the Manson Family Cult. The ring leader, not present in the actual massacre, died last November.
These heinous acts have been depicted time and time again in movies like Helter Skelter (both the 1967 version and 2004 remake) and Manson, as well as re-imaginings and quasi-continuations Manson Family Vacation, The Manson Family and Charlie Lives: The Family Return. Even Crossbreed director Brandon Slagle tackled the murders in 2016’s House of Manson. Now, The Haunting of Sharon Tate will take some artistic liberties that are not sitting well with the family of the late actress; not that I blame them. The Haunting of Sharon Tate sees Hilary Duff as Sharon Tate in the last days of her life leading up to the massacre at her ranch home. The movie, written and directed by Daniel Farrands, will take a supernatural approach to the subject material; with Sharon encountering ghosts and receiving premonitions about her own death. Farrands, of course, has worked on a ton of big Hollywood horror films including Amityville: The Awakening and Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers.
This development is not sitting well with Sharon Tate’s sister, Debra. The activist who’s been instrumental in keeping members of the Manson Family behind bars tells People: “It’s exploitative. It’s total fabrication. It doesn’t matter who it is acting in it – it’s just tasteless. It’s classless how everyone is rushing to release something for the 50th anniversary of this horrific event. I know for a fact she did not have a premonition — awake or in a dream — that she and Jay would have their throat cut. I checked with all of her living friends. None of her friends had any knowledge of this. Tacky, tacky, tacky.”
The Haunting of Sharon Tate will also star Mean Girl‘s Jonathan Bennett and Cabin Fever 3‘s Lydia Hearst. Lucas Jarach, Jim Jacobsen, Jorge Garcia Castro and Eric Brenner will producer.