Vince Gilligan, Octavia Spencer to Team on HBO Jonestown Series

Michelle MacLaren will direct “Raven,” based on the book by Tim Reiterman about the famous cult

HBO is assembling an all-star team to tackle a limited series about the Jonestown massacre.

“Raven” will be written by Vince Gilligan and directed by Michelle Maclaren and is based on “Raven: The Untold Story of Jim Jones and His People,” written by Tim Reiterman. The author was a journalist who survived the events in Guyana in 1978 during which 918 people died.

Gilligan and MacLaren will also executive produce the series, along with Octavia Spencer. Spencer originally secured the rights to the book along with co-producer Reilly Smith.

The adaptation will focus on the infamous cult leader 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 MacLaren are reuniting for the first time on the Sony Pictures Television project since “Breaking Bad.” Gilligan went on to create prequel “Better Call Saul” and MacLaren was recently announced as the director of the big screen adaptation of Kristin Hannah’s “The Nightingale.”

Spencer won an Oscar for Best Supporting Actress for “The Help” and will soon be seen in “Hidden Figures.” She most recently starred in the “Divergent” franchise. She is represented by WME.