Lately, it seems that every other day a new project about the murder of Valley of the Dolls star Tate at the hands of the Manson Family is put in development. Quentin Tarantino's upcoming film Once Upon a Time In Hollywood will feature Tate, who was pregnant with her first child when she was killed by members of Charles Manson's cult in 1969, as a prominent character. Hilary Duff will portray the actress in the supernatural film The Haunting of Sharon Tate. Matt Smith film Charlie Says will examine the women of the Manson Family who were sentenced to death following the 1969 killings.
While pop culture seems fascinated with Manson, his murderous cult, and the horrific crimes they committed, some see works about the late actress' death as exploitive. Tate's sister Debra Tate certainly does: She told People that Duff's upcoming film was "tasteless," and added that "it's classless how everyone is rushing to release something for the 50th anniversary of [her murder.]" Debra's big issue, she told People, was that no one consulted her before beginning work on the film.
That will be different with Tate, a film that seeks to tell a new narrative about the titular star, who was just 26 when she was brutally murdered along with Jay Sebring, Voytek Frykowski, Abigail Folger, Steven Parent in her rental home in Los Angeles' Benedict Canyon. (Grocery store owners Leno LaBianca and Rosemary LaBianca were killed at their home in the Los Feliz neighbourhood of Los Angeles the same night.)
Tate, which Deadline reports will be directed by Michael Polish and star Kate Bosworth as the actress, will examine the last day of Tate's life. Deadline reports that the film is doing what others have not: It has brought on Debra Tate as a co-producer, a smart and thoughtful move given Debra's desire for her sister's story to be told the right way.
Debra told Deadline in a statement:
"At long last I have found filmmakers who are interested in the life story of my sister Sharon. Other projects have been a real source of pain in their insensitivity and gross exploitation of my sister. I am proud to join this very accomplished team to bring the story of the profoundly unique woman known as Sharon Tate."
It is true that Tate's legacy has often been overshadowed by the dark history surrounding her life. Manson, who died in prison in 2017, remains a pop culture fascination — even if he is a loathed one — and his victims are often treated as footnotes of his crimes as opposed to actual people. With someone so close to the actress as a producer on this new project, Hollywood may finally get a movie that shows how Tate actually lived, rather than one that focuses, yet again, on the tragic way she died.