Michael Shannon and John Leguizamo to Reprise ‘Waco’ Roles in ‘American Tragedies: Waco – The Trials’

Follow-up series will focus on the fallout of the 1993 events

Michael Shannon, John Leguizamo
Michael Shannon, John Leguizamo in "Waco" (Paramount Network)

Michael Shannon and John Leguizamo will reprise their roles from Paramount Network’s 2018 limited series “Waco” in “American Tragedies: Waco – The Trials,” MTV Entertainment Studios announced Monday. The follow-up series will explore the legal fallout after the tragic events that took place in Waco, Texas, in 1993.

Waco was the longest gun battle in U.S. law enforcement in history, as a small religious community known as the Branch Davidians led by David Koresh withstood a raid by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF).  Four ATF agents and six civilians were left dead and dozens more were wounded during the battle. A 51-day standoff ensued, and the conflict ended after an FBI assault led to a fire that engulfed the compound, killing 76 men, women and children.

Leguizamo received an Emmy nomination for his “Waco” role as Jacob Vasquez, an ATF agent who blows the whistle on the disastrous siege. Shannon returns as Gary Noesner, an FBI hostage negotiator who has PTSD from the failed negotiations with Koresh (played in the 2018 series by Taylor Kitsch).

The six-episode follow-up series also features Giovanni Ribisi as Dan Cogdell, a top trial lawyer for the surviving Branch Davidians; David Costabile as Judge Smith, who oversees the trial of Davidians charged with conspiracy to murder federal agents, and Abbey Lee as Carol Howe, a former Southern debutante turned neo-Nazi who becomes a government informant. 

Keean Johnson will play a young David Koresh (whose birth name was Vernon Howell), who believes he is chosen by God as the next Messiah; J. Smith Cameron is Lois Roden, the leader and Prophetess of the Branch Davidians when David Koresh arrives; and John Hoogenakker is Clive Doyle, Koresh’s first and most devout follower within the cult.

The series is executive produced by returning creators and showrunners Drew Dowdle and John Erick Dowdle alongside Michael Shannon, Andrew Gettens and Lauren Mackenzie with David C. Glasser, David Hutkin, Bob Yari and Ron Burkle of 101 Studios. It’s produced by MTV Entertainment Studios and 101 Studios.