HBO is looking to add another true crime miniseries to their programming. Vince Gilligan, the creator of Breaking Bad and co-creator of Better Call Saul, is teaming up with the network to produce a series called Raven, based on the 1978 Jonestown massacre. The Hollywood Reporter had the story.
Based on journalist Tim Reiterman’s non-fiction book Raven: The Untold Story of Jim Jones and his People, Raven will chronicle the history of the People’s Temple, a cult lead by the charismatic Jim Jones. The series will explore the life of both Jones and his followers, as well as the events that lead to the tragic mass suicide in Jonestown in 1978, wherein over 900 of Jones’ followers died of cyanide poisoning.
Gilligan is executive producing the show along with fellow Breaking Bad producer Michelle MacLaren, as well as Oscar-winning actress Octavia Spencer (The Help, Fruitvale Station). MacLaren is also on board as a director, while Gilligan is writing the script. It is unknown at this point if Spencer will be acting in the series as well as producing.
Raven is not the only Jonestown drama in the pipeline. Actor Jake Gyllenhaal is working with A&E to develop an anthology series that explores different cult leaders in American history, with the first season focusing on Jim Jones. Neither series has been given an official release date.