It looks like Taylor Kitsch’s motto is still Texas forever. The actor, who starred as Tim Riggins in NBC’s Friday Night Lights, has been cast in a new true-crime series that’s currently in development. The show, entitled Waco, will focus on the Waco, Texas hostage situation and raid of a religious group.
Kitsch will star as David Koresh, the leaders of the Branch Davidians, who died at the end of the raid, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
The show has no network yet, but The Weinstein Co. is producing the show and there’s plans to shop the show around to the networks next month.
Michael Shannon has been cast in the show as well. He’ll be playing lead FBI negotiator Gary Noesner. Rapper and actor Ludacris is also being eyed to portray Wayne Martin, one of the members of the Branch Davidians.
The show is based on two biographies, one by one a member of the Branch Davidian who survived the siege, and the other by Noesner, the character that Shannon would be portraying. John Erick Dowdle and Drew Dowdle have been tapped as writers and John Erick Dowdle will be the director. Both of the Dowdles will be executive producers of the show, as will Shannon and Kitsch.
Harvey Weinstein, co-head of production of The Weinstein Co., Jennifer Malloy and Megan Spanjian, who are both a part of Weinstein Television, said “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. 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.”
The events of the series will follow the 51-day siege that happened in Waco, Texas, from February 28, 1993, until April 19, 1993. The show will look at the perspective of the Branch Davidian members and the members of the FBI and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, who were trying raid the compound on suspicion of weapons violations.
When the ATF was met with gunshots that killed four agents and six Branch Davidians, the FBI was called in to assist and the standoff lasted 51 days.
At the end of the standoff, the FBI used tear gas as a way to get the Branch Davidians out of the compound. A fire started and engulfed the compound and 76 people died, including Koresh, who Kitsch will be portraying.
The raid in Waco and at Ruby Ridge, a siege that happened in Idaho less than a year before the siege in Waco, have been contributed to being part of the motive for the Oklahoma City bombings that happened on April 19, 1995, exactly two years to the day that the siege in Waco ended.
Waco currently has no network or air date and is being shopped around to find a network to air the show.