Melissa Benoist, Julia Garner Join Ensemble for Miniseries 'Waco'
Melissa Benoist and Julia Garner have joined the cast of Waco, a six-part, event series filming now in Santa Fe.
The Weinstein Television production is expected to air on the Paramount Network, which will replace Spike TV as part of a re-branding strategy in 2018.
Waco is based on the true story of the 51-day standoff in 1993 between the FBI and ATF, and David Koresh’s spiritual sect, The Branch Davidians. The stalemate ended with a shootout, fire and the deaths of nearly 100 people.
Supergirl star Benoist will portray Rachel, the wife of Branch Davidian leader David Koresh, while Grandma actress Garner will play Rachel’s younger sister Michelle and the mother of one of David’s children.
The Waco ensemble also includes Taylor Kitsch, Michael Shannon, Shea Whigham, Paul Sparks and John Leguizamo.
There are people whose life was so interesting that it would make for a great story to tell on the big screen. These are people that really existed that I think deserve a big screen treatment. Some of these people may have had a movie made about them but I am talking about a proper movie treatment. I also included some actors that I think would be great fits for the role both in looks and acting ability.
10. Marshall Applewhite:
This guy was a very eccentric, weird, and “out there” kind of guy. His cult group Heaven’s Gate would almost make for a dark comedy with their bizarre beliefs and rituals. Look up his last video he shot before his suicide and you can see just how weird this guy was. I always pictured the Coen Brothers doing a movie about him because he almost seems like a weird character they come up with. The actor to play him also needs to be able to bring to the table more than just being bald. Possible actors to play him: Toby Jones, Walton Goggins, John Malkovich.
9. Carl Panzram:
This guy is the true definition of a messed up individual. Everything from murder, rape, and brutal beatings this guy did. He had a very rough childhood that would make for a hard to watch movie but it would be worth it to explore an evil man and how evil can be born. This role would require a great physical transformation too as Panzram was a very muscular and buff guy that should strike fear in your heart. As long as this movie doesn’t border into exploitation, this would be a very dark very horrific film. Possible actors to play him: Ryan Gosling, Daniel Craig, Chris Hemsworth.
8. Emily Dickinson:
Another tortured artist. A very reclusive woman that never really wanted to reveal her brilliance and poems to the world. She had a very odd relationship with her husband with some people thinking she might have been in the closet. A lot of her poetry was about death as she seemed obsessed with it. This movie would be great at exploring loneliness, art, love, and mortality. Would be kind of a sad movie but it’s how Dickinson’s life was so it would be true to her. Possible actresses to play her: Anne Hathaway, Natalie Portman, Natalie Dormer.
7. David Koresh:
I just don’t see how this guy was able to get people to follow him. With Jim Jones at least you can see how his charisma helps, but with Koresh he was just insane to the point that it would have been amazing if he got two people to follow him. Always a troubled and sad person his whole life, this movie would be an interesting watch to see a man who went from a loser to a leader of hundreds. The movie also would be a great exploration of faith and sanity because he somehow got people to believe he was a prophet. The actor needs a mixture of weirdness, leadership, insanity, and pathetic loserdom. Possible actors to play him: Paul Dano, Lee Tergesen, Michael C. Hall.
6. John Brown:
Even today there are people who would consider him to be an extremist. He was a man that would help slaves rise up and kill their masters and then he tried to capture a fort and free all the slaves. A lot of his motivation was religious and it would be nice to see a religious man in this time use religion to speak out against slavery. They need an actor who has an intensity in his eyes and his voice. He was kinda of a badass too that would make for a great role for an actor. Possible actors to play him: Bill Paxton, Kevin Costner, Bryan Cranston.
5. Marvin Gaye:
Another genius plagued by insecurities from his father. I always wondered why there has not been a movie about him because he had a life made for a great drama. A soulful voice, a charismatic presence, and a sadness behind his eyes that would guarantee an actor a nomination. They need an actor who also is a good singer, even though no one can ever match Marvin Gaye’s voice. The man who would play Gaye’s father also would be an interesting role. Possible actors to play him: Jesse L. Martin, Jeffrey Wright, Lenny Kravitz.
4. Harriet Jacobs:
Harriet Jacobs is much like Solomon Northup the man whose life was based on the movie 12 Years A Slave. She went through so much shit that I’m surprised she did not just give up. But she is really the embodiment of the human spirit and the ability of a person to overcome any of life’s obstacles. Throughout her life she maintained this quiet and subdued strength that I think any actress would find challenging to play. If there was a movie about her, I don’t think the actress needs to be in your face they really need to get an actress that can show subtle pain and endurance. Read her life story in the great book Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl: As Told By Herself. Possible actresses to play her: Alfre Woodard, Viola Davis, Regina King.
3. John Wilkes Booth:
This was a man that truly believed that what he did would make the United States great again. Many people do not know or forget that he was a famous actor in his time and considered “the world’s most handsome man”. His conspiracy to “take back the country” would make for a thrilling movie and his relationship with Mary Surratt would be great to watch. Like a lot of troubled and bad men, he also had complicated relationships with his family and that would make for a movie that would explore this man that a lot of people know but don’t really know. Possible actors to play him: Joaquin Phoenix, Timothy Olyphant, Joseph Gordon-Levitt.
2. Morton Downey, Jr. :
This is the guy that the likes of Jerry Springer, Glenn Beck, and Bill O'Reilly should be thanking. He was the mad genius that was responsible for the “trash talk show”. Downey the host was loud, angry, opinionated, and fascinating to watch. The man Downey was insecure, at his heart sweet, desperate, and scared. His father was a famous and renowned singer and he really tried to live up to his father’s spotlight. If you watch the documentary Evocateur you can really see how much he wanted to please his father and how many times he felt he was disappointing his father. I feel that a movie about this guy would be funny, sad, and though provoking about the state of media and culture on politics. Possible actors to play him: Denis Leary, Edward Norton, Ray Liotta.
1. Jim Jones:
I always have found cult leaders and cults more fascinating than serial killers. How does one man lead a whole group to kill others and themselves? This is a question that I think should be explored in a big screen treatment for Jim Jones. He truly was a bizarre man who even in his early childhood was fascinated with death. There was one supposed story that he killed a cat than performed a funeral for the cat with friends acting as a preacher during the service. He was a white man from Indiana that lead a mostly black church during the 60’s when people were begging and advocating for change in the United States. But even with all his talk of good behind those words was a manipulative sociopath. If you’re still not convinced you should check out the documentary Jonestown: The Life and Death of the People’s Temple. Possible actors to play him: Michael Shannon, Shea Whigham, Christian Bale.