Octavia Spencer is teaming up with Vince Gilligan (Breaking Bad, Better Call Saul) and Michelle MacLaren (Breaking Bad) for a drama based on Jim Jones and the deadly 1978 Peoples Temple Agricultural Project known as Jonestown.

The series is titled Raven, and is based on the nonfiction book Raven: The Untold Story of Jim Jones and His People by Tim Reiterman, a journalist who survived the events in Guyana.

Raven tells the definitive history of the Peoples Temple, from its idealistic beginnings to its terrible end in Jonestown. The adaptation will focus on Jim Jones, but also on his followers, who, by and large, were ordinary people of good will. It tells the mysterious story of how so many of them came to give up their lives for this man.

The Peoples Temple was an American religious organization led by Jones in northwestern Guyana. On Nov. 18, 1978, a total of 909 Americans died in Jonestown (all but two from apparent cyanide poisoning) in what Jones called a “revolutionary suicide.” It ranked as the largest mass suicide/mass murder in modern history and until 9/11, and was the largest single loss of American civilian life in a deliberate act.

Gilligan and his Sony Pictures Television-based High Bridge Productions will write the script and executive produce alongside Octavia Spencer, who originally secured the rights to the book with Reilly Smith.  Smith will serve as co-producer. MacLaren will also exec produce and direct via her MacLaren Entertainment banner.

Spencer is not currently slated for an onscreen role in Raven; however, she will next be seen in Fox feature Hidden Figures alongside Janelle Monae and Taraji P. Henson.

Comments

comments