In February of 1993, the FBI and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms (ATF) initiated a raid of the Branch Davidians ranch in Waco Texas. Led by David Koresh, the Branch Davidians were a subset of the Seventh-Day Adventist Church and had operated their organization out of Waco since 1955. The ATF suspected the group of weapons violations and soon the raid quickly escalated into a shootout and a 51 day standoff, culminating in a fire that killed almost 80 of the group’s members on April 19, 1993. Now, Weinstein Television has announced that they are developing an event series based on the harrowing tale with Michael Shannon (“Midnight Special”) and Taylor Kitsch (“Friday Night Lights”), playing lead FBI negotiator Gary Noesener and Koresh respectively.
The series will be written by brothers John Erick and Drew Dowdle, who have previously collaborated on the horror films “Quarantine” and “As Above, So Below,” as well the recent action film “No Escape.” John Erick Dowdle will direct the series. It will be largely based on two biographies: “A Place Called Waco” by Branch Davidian David Thibodeau, one of the nine survivors of the final fire, and “Sinful Messiah,” written by the FBI negotiator Gary Noesner. It will explore the true-life events leading up to the siege and chronicle the 51-day standoff and will be told from several perspectives from both sides of the conflict. The Weinstein Company are expected to shop the series out to networks next month.
Michael Shannon can be seen in Jeff Nichols’ new film “Loving,” which will be released in the U.S. on November 4th by Focus Features. Taylor Kitsch is set to star in the new action film “Granite Mountain,” about the elite crew of men who battled a wildfire in Prescott, Arizona in June 2013, which is scheduled to be released on September 22, 2017.