Spike TV has picked up rights to Waco, the Weinstein Television event series that will star Michael Shannon and Taylor Kitsch as David Koresh. The planned six-parter is based on the true story of the 1993 FBI siege of Koresh’s Branch Davidians compound near Waco, Texas that ended in a deadly shootout and fire at the conclusion of a 51-day standoff.
John Erick Dowdle and Drew Dowdle penned the script and John Erick Dowdle will direct. The series, announced over the summer, will go into production next spring. It will explore the true life details leading up to and chronicling the siege between the FBI, the ATF and the religious sect, told from several perspectives of those involved. The series is based on two biographies: A Place Called Waco, by Branch Davidian survivor David Thibodeau, and Stalling For Time: My Life As An FBI Hostage Negotiator, written by the FBI’s Special Agent in Charge of Negotiations Gary Noesner. Shannon will portray Noesner.
Shannon, Kitsch and the Dowdles are executive producing with TWC co-chairmen Harvey Weinstein and Bob Weinstein, president and COO David Glasser, and Weinstein TV Co-Head of Production Jennifer Malloy and Head of Scripted Television Megan Spanjian. Spike TV EVP Original Series Sharon Levy, SVP Scripted Original Series Ted Gold and VP Scripted Programing Lauren Ruggiero will oversee the project for Spike.
“The dramatic events in Waco captivated the nation, and we are thrilled to partner with Weinstein Television and an all-star cast and production team to bring this incredible story to life,” Levy said in the release announcing the deal.
Added Harvey Weinstein: “We’ve been working with our friend Kevin Kay at Spike for years. He has a rare gift for creating quality scripted television with commercial appeal and when he shared his vision for both the program and his goals for the network I knew we had found the perfect partner. Waco is a provocative series where the drama and excitement are amplified by the truth and the history surrounding the event, along with a cast of amazing actors including the incredible Michael Shannon and Taylor Kitsch. We are looking forward to working with Sharon Levy and her team to bring this story to life.”