Shannon (“Boardwalk Empire”) is set to play lead FBI negotiator Gary Noesner, while Kitsch (“Friday Night Lights,” “True Detective”) will take the role of David Koresh, the notorious leader of the religious group whose stand-off with federal authorities led to a fire that killed almost 80 people.
John Erick Dowdle and Drew Dowdle, who co-wrote the 2015 Pierce Brosnan thriller “No Escape” for The Weinstein Company, will write the series, aptly-titled “Waco,” with John Erick Dowdle directing (as he did “No Escape”).
Shannon, Kitsch, and the Dowdle brothers will executive produce the series.
TWC expects to shop out the series to networks beginning next month.
The drama is largely based on two books about the incident, Noesner’s “Sinful Messiah” and “A Place Called Waco,” by Branch Davidian David Thibodeau, who was one of nine survivors of the fatal fire.
According to the statement from TWC, the series will explore the true life events leading up to and chronicling the 51-day siege between the FBI, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms and Koresh’s spiritual sect, The Branch Davidians. It will be told from several perspectives of those most intimately involved.
The Waco siege ended on April 19, 1993, and left 76 people dead, including Koresh.
The retelling of the controversial events in the latest true crime story to be revived for the small screen, following in the footsteps of “OJ: Made In America,” “People v OJ Simpson,” “Making a Murderer” and “The Jinx.”
“We’re thrilled to be collaborating with John and Drew again. This event series will explore the truth behind this tragedy and speaks directly to the heart of the current issues between citizens, law enforcement and the media,” TWC Co-Chairman Harvey Weinstein, Co-head of Production Jennifer Malloy, and Megan Spanjian of Weinstein Television, said in a joint statement. “With the addition of dedicated and talented actors like Michael and Taylor, ‘Waco’ will deliver on the promise of a sophisticated and harrowing exposé that is sure to be appointment viewing TV.”