True crime is here to stay. It was announced today that HBO, Vince Gilligan, Octavia Spencer and Michelle MacLaren will be teaming up to develop the story of the Jonestown Massacre in “Raven.” This will be the first collaboration for MacLaren and Gilligan since “Breaking Bad.”
The limited series will be based off the book “Raven: The Untold Story of Jim Jones and His People” by Tim Reiterman. It will tell the story of the Peoples Temple Agriculture Project in Guayana, a religious community under the leadership of Jim Jones.
The community is more commonly known as Jonestown, infamous for the mass suicide at the direction of Jones, in which 909 Americans took part on November 18th, 1978 by ingesting cyanide. Jones called the act “revolutionary” as he led them towards their end.
The show will depict the evolution of the Jonestown project laid out in Reiterman’s book, which is considered the “seminal” text on the event. The show will center around Jones, but also explore the people who followed the cult leader.
This won’t be the only Jonestown story to come to TV, as A&E and Jake Gyllenhaal are focusing on the incident in the first season of their cult anthology series.