EXCLUSIVE: HBO Max docuseries The Way Down: God, Greed & The Cult of Gwen Shamblin is set to be adapted as a scripted series.
Ross Dinerstein’s Campfire Studios and Chrissy Teigen’s Huntley Productions, which produced the docuseries about cult-like figure Gwen Shamblin Lara — who rose to fame with her Weigh Down Workshop, a Christian-based diet program, and founded the Remnant Fellowship Church — are working on the drama adaptation.
They have teamed up with Michelle Dean, who recently served as showrunner and exec producer of Hulu’s The Act, starring Patricia Arquette and Joey King. Dean will serve as showrunner and exec producer on the scripted series.
Deadline understands that the team also is in talks with high-profile actors to play Shamblin Lara, a charismatic figure with a carefully curated image who was accused of emotional, psychological and physical abuse and exploitation for the church’s alleged cult-like practices.
It comes as the second part of the docuseries – which features two new episodes – drops on HBO Max today.
Spring Premiere Dates For New & Returning Series On Broadcast, Cable & Streaming
The Way Down, which is directed by Marina Zenovich, launched in September with three episodes, becoming the streamer’s most-watched docuseries at time of release.
Just before finishing the series, Shamblin Lara and her husband died in a plane crash, and the team pivoted and produced two more episodes, talking to more people about the controversial Remnant Fellowship Church and its founder.
The Way Down looks at the legacy of Remnant’s infamous leader, and the second part examines the mysterious circumstances surrounding the cause of the crash and investigation into the aftermath, including new stories from former survivors who felt compelled to share their experience following Shamblin’s death.
The scripted series is being produced by Wheelhouse-backed Campfire Studios and Huntley Productions. In addition to Dean, executive producers include Zenovich, Nile Cappello, Ross Dinerstein, P.G. Morgan, Luke Dillon for 3 Arts Entertainment and Chrissy Teigen. Rebecca Evans and Ross Girard serve as co-executive producers. Tracy Stevens is overseeing for Huntley.
Subscribe to Deadline Breaking News Alerts and keep your inbox happy.