Vince Gilligan Will Bring The Infamous Jonestown Massacre To Life With HBO’s ‘Raven’

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Breaking Bad and Better Call Saul fans celebrate Vince Gilligan’s ability to create characters whose otherwise uneventful beginnings eventually devolve into depraved, but highly entertaining odysseys into the darker depths of human evil. Yes, Walter White and Jimmy McGill’s Saul Goodman aren’t the most virtuous protagonists in television history, but damn they’re fun to watch! So how will Gilligan and co-executive producer Octavia Spencer approach Raven, their miniseries adaptation of the true crime book Raven: The Untold Story of Jim Jones and His People, for HBO?

After all, journalist Tim Reiterman’s book about the infamous “Jonestown massacre” in 1978, which claimed the lives of 918 people (including 909 Americans) at the Peoples Temple in northwestern Guyana, doesn’t revolve around a likable anti-hero. Instead, it focuses on cult leader Jim Jones, the man who founded the Peoples Temple Agricultural Project and oversaw the ensuing mass suicide and murder. Per the Hollywood Reporter:

Raven tells the definitive history of Peoples Temple, from its idealistic beginnings to its terrible end in Jonestown. The adaptation will focus on Jim Jones, but also on his followers, who, by and large, were ordinary people of good will. It tells the mysterious story of how so many of them came to give up their lives for this man.

Gilligan and Spencer previously worked together on “Millennium,” an X-Files episode he co-wrote for the seventh season. Joining them is Gilligan’s former Breaking Bad producing partner Michelle MacLaren, whose work includes The Walking Dead, Game of Thrones, and The Deuce, David Simon’s upcoming HBO series with James Franco.

If HBO decides to pick up the Raven miniseries, it’ll join the plethora of true crime fictionalized and documentary projects that includes HBO’s own The Jinx, Netflix’s Making a Murderer, FX’s The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story, and countless others.

(Via the Hollywood Reporter)