A&E is really buckling down on their scary material. In the wake of the news of their series Damien and Bates Motel premiering on the same night, word has broke that Jake Gyllenhaal's company Nine Stories Prods. is developing an anthology series with the network set to explore various American cult personas throughout history.
This kind of true crime story has always been fascinating to the horror audience, but more of it will been hitting the mainstream very soon with projects like Ryan Murphy's American Crime Story (centering on the O.J. Simpson trial) and Martin Scorcese's DEVIL IN THE WHITE CITY (about America's first serial killer, Daniel H. Burnham). If the series is picked up, the first season will revolve around Jim Jones and the notorious Jonestown Massacre.
Jim Jones is a complex character — one who has found his way into the collective unconscious. We want to focus on the undeniable magnetism of zealots and the danger of that kind of charisma. A notion not only pertinent to cult leaders but to the geo-political climate of today.
The Jim Jones season:
would focus on his cult, The Peoples Temple of the Disciples of Christ, and chronicle Jones’ path from social leader to deranged spiritual dictator to a group of followers who eventually were involved in the biggest single loss of American life in a deliberate act until the 9/11 terrorist attacks in 2001.
The Jones-led California-based congregation made headlines, shocking the world, when the group moved to Guyana where they created the eponymous infamous Jonestown commune, which in 1978, was the site of the mass murder and suicide via apparent cyanide poisoning, organized by Jones. The event left more than 900 people dead, including over 300 children, U.S. congressman Leo Ryan and many journalists.
Gyllenhaal will executive produce along with his partner Riva Marker.