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James Marsden, Michael Shannon, Michael C. Hall & Melissa Leo Head Up A ‘Dead Circus’

James Marsden, Michael Shannon, Michael C. Hall & Melissa Leo Head Up A 'Dead Circus'

Well, we’ll give this one points for bonkers casting because when you have a movie where James Marsden plays Charles Manson that’s…something. But we’re getting ahead of ourselves.

Deadline reports that James Marsden, Michael Shannon, Michael C. Hall and Melissa Leo are all set to star in “Dead Circus” a film which will tell the tale of a very curious note in music story. Written by Adam Davenport and John Kaye, with the former directing and the film based on the book of the latter, the story will delve into the mysterious death of Bobby Fuller as told via a screenwriter who attempts to solve the mystery of rocker’s death. Never heard of him? That’s ok, you probably heard his 1966 hit song “I Fought The Law (And The Law Won).” Anyway, must as Fuller was on the rise, with ‘Law’ charting on Billboard he was found dead in his car outside of his apartment. His death has remained a mystery, but some speculate that the Manson family was somehow involved and that’s where we get back to the casting.

First up, Marsden is going to play Charles Manson. Really, it’s true. Even better, Leo will play a matriarch within the Manson family which should be amazing, while Hall and Shannon will play Fuller’s managers. The story will be triggered when Leo’s character comes out of hiding five years after the murder and reveals to the screenwriter a cache of snuff films buried out in Death Valley which may hold the key to Fuller’s death. So yeah, this sounds pretty zany, yet compelling.

The production still needs to cast the screenwriter and get financing into place, but should it all come together it will film in Los Angeles. No word on how this may or may not affect Shannon’s chances of joining Zack Snyder‘s “Superman” which he was recently rumored for.

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John Novak

Bobby Fuller was my birth father. He was more than a one hit wonder, having 3 hits, TV spots and a movie appearance after moving out to LA from El Paso. The Manson’s and Sinatra’s didn’t kill him. Those close to the story have a good idea who did. Read all the available interviews and there’s only a few conclusions one can come to. Bobby was an amazing talent and I hope this movie pays him the credit he deserves. Also, suicide was later changed to “accident”, however, we know he was murdered.

Michael Rae

Adam Davenport’s short film is wonderful. He’s going to be a great director. Can’t wait for his feature debut with this project.

Jasmine Kelland

Michael C. Hall!!! Michael Shannon and Melissa Leo just make it so much better. Feel a bit “meh” about Marsden though. Unless he surprises us with a James Franco-like chameleon performance.

Kevin Klawitter

Wow. They have Michael Shannon and Michael C. Hall and they cast JAMES MARSDEN as the serial killer? Between this and Bill Murray as FDR it’s been a terrific day for inspired casting.


This sounds good, a lot of great people in it. Love to see Michael C. Hall in more movies.


Sounds interesting. If I were Shannon, I’d pass up Superman. If Snyder is the pilot in charge of this reboot, expect it to crash and burn. Michael Shannon is a great actor and needs to stick to great scripts and directors. Love his show Empire Boardwalk.

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