Michael Shannon and Taylor Kitsch to star in Waco Texas siege series
Weinstein Television announced today that they are developing a series based on the harrowing true story of the 1993 FBI siege of a religious sect in Waco, Texas that resulted in the deadly shoot out and fire. Brothers John Erick Dowdle and Drew Dowdle (No Escape) will write the series with John directing. Michael Shannon and Taylor Kitsch will star with Shannon playing lead FBI negotiator, Gary Noesener, and Kitsch in the role of David Koresh, notorious leader of the religious group. Shannon, Kitsch, and the Dowdle brothers will executive produce the Waco Texas siege series.
Beginning in February of 1993, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms (ATF) initiated a raid on the Branch Davidians ranch in Waco, Texas. A subset of the Seventh-Day Adventist Church, The Branch Davidians, led by David Koresh, had been operating their organization out of Waco since 1955. The ATF suspected the group of weapons violations and conducted a high profile raid that quickly escalated into a deadly shoot out and a 51-day standoff between the Branch Davidians and the FBI and ATF, tragically culminating in a fire that killed almost 80 of the group’s members. Only nine managed to survive.
The series, which TWC expects to shop out to networks beginning next month, is largely based on the two biographies, “A Place Called Waco,” by Branch Davidian David Thibodeau, one of the nine survivors of the final fire on April 19, 1993, and “Sinful Messiah,” written by the FBI’s Special Agent in Charge of Negotiations Gary Noesner.
Waco is a event series exploring the true life events leading up to and chronicling the 51-day siege between the FBI, ATF and David Koresh’s spiritual sect, The Branch Davidians. Told from several perspectives of those most intimately involved—from both sides of the conflict, the true story is surprising in its stark contrast to the media narrative at the time and what is still remembered of Waco almost 25 years later.
TWC Co-Chairman Harvey Weinstein, Co-head of Production Jennifer Malloy, and Megan Spanjian of Weinstein Television commented: “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.”
(Photo Credit: Getty Images)