A new anthology series focusing on major American cult figures is in development at A&E, which is partnering with actor Jake Gyllenhaal on the project.
The subject for the first season is Jim Jones and his cult the Peoples Temple of the Disciples of Christ, known for the 1978 Jonestown tragedy in Guyana in which 918 people died. Announcing the project Wednesday was Elaine Frontain Bryant, Executive Vice President and Head of Programming for A&E.
The series will be executive produced by Gyllenhaal and Riva Marker (“Beasts of No Nation,” “The Kids Are All Right”) and produced by their company Nine Stories Productions in association with A+E Studios.
Said Gyllenhaal: “Riva and I founded Nine Stories to push creative limits, and have found a wonderful partner in A&E with this fascinating series. Jim Jones is a complex character — one who has found his way into the collective unconscious. We want to focus on the undeniable magnatism 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.”
A+E Networks will oversee global sales for the series, which originated in development at A+E Studios last year.