Weinstein Television is set to produce a star-studded dramatization of the 1993 Waco, Texas siege that culminated in the now-famous 51-day standoff that left 76 people dead.
Michael Shannon (Boardwalk Empire, Man of Steel) and Taylor Kitsch (Friday Night Lights, True Detective) are slated to star in the miniseries with Shannon in the role of lead FBI negotiator Gary Noesener and Kitsch playing David Koresh, leader of the Branch Davidian religious group, according to the Hollywood Reporter.
In February of 1993, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms (ATF) and the FBI launched a raid on the Branch Davidians’ ranch in Waco, Texas. An offshoot of the Seventh-Day Adventist Church, the Branch Davidians had been operating their organization out of Waco since 1955 and was long suspected by federal agents of weapons violations, polygamy and sexual abuse of minors. The law enforcement raid led to a near-two month standoff between the FBI, ATF and David Koresh’s heavily armed followers, only nine of whom survived the siege and the ensuing shootout.
John Erick Dowdle is set to direct and write the script along with brother Drew Dowdle.
“We’re thrilled to be collaborating with John and Drew again. This event series will explore the truth behind this tragedy and speaks directly to the heart of the current issues between citizens, law enforcement and the media,” Harvey Weinstein, TWC co-head of production Jennifer Malloy and Megan Spanjian of Weinstein Television said in a statement. “With the addition of dedicated and talented actors like Michael and Taylor, WACO will deliver on the promise of a sophisticated and harrowing exposé that is sure to be appointment viewing TV.”
Waco will reportedly draw on two biographies for its source material: A Place Called Waco, by siege survivor David Thibodeau, and Sinful Messiah, written by the FBI’s Special Agent in Charge of Negotiations Gary Noesner.
Weinstein Television has not yet found a network for Waco, but the studio plans to shop the limited series around. And that shouldn’t be a tall task, given the growing popularity for true-crime drama in recent years, from Netflix’s Making a Murderer to FX’s The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story.