Blue meth to Kool-Aid: Vince Gilligan working on HBO Jonestown miniseries

vince gilligan michelle maclaren raven hbo jim jones international hotel header
Jim Jones, San Francisco 1977
Vince Gilligan’s hit series Breaking Bad hit more than a few bleak notes during its celebrated run, and now Gilligan is reuniting with director Michelle MacLaren for a new series that’s likely to go down some similarly dark roads.

A new report indicates that Gilligan and MacLaren are developing a series titled Raven for HBO about the rise of cult leader Jim Jones and his Peoples Temple — a story that infamously ended with the mass murder-suicide of more than 900 people in Jonestown. Gilligan will reportedly write the series, with MacLaren directing episodes.

According to VarietyRaven will be executive produced by Gilligan, MacLaren, and Academy Award winner Octavia Spencer (The Help).

While Gilligan is best known for creating Breaking Bad, MacLaren is known for her work as a director on Breaking Bad, as well as Game of ThronesThe Walking Dead, and Gilligan’s Breaking Bad prequel series, Better Call Saul.

The story of Jim Jones and the cult he created, The Peoples Temple of the Disciples of Christ, was previously dramatized in a 1980 television miniseries titled Guyana Tragedy. Gilligan and MacLaren’s series will reportedly chronicle the origins of the cult and its members’ journey from Indiana to California as the group grew, and the subsequent move to a settlement in Guyana in 1977 after the group came under scrutiny by the U.S. government. After murdering Congressman Leo Ryan and the group of people accompanying him to investigate the cult, Jones famously instructed his followers to commit suicide, leaving 918 people dead — including almost 300 children.

There’s no official word yet on when the miniseries is scheduled to premiere on HBO.


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