"True Blood" star Ryan Kwanten has a killer new role - he's signed up to play cult leader Charles Manson.

The Australian actor is gearing up to play the convicted killer in the as-yet-untitled project, which will be directed by Brad Anderson.

Manson is serving a life prison sentence for seven counts of murder and one of conspiracy to murder after co-ordinating a killing spree in the late 1960s as the leader of the Manson Family.