Jake Gyllenhaal and his production company Nine Stories have partnered with A+E Studio for a brand new anthology series designed to explore a string of high-profile cult leaders across the four corners of America.
Developed for the A&E Network, Gyllenhaal’s novel IP is said to be a limited anthology series, one that sheds light on some of the more prominent zealots of our time, the feverish following they garner and their undisputed gravitas that births the cults in the first place. Attached to executive produce alongside Riva Marker (Beasts of No Nation, The Kids Are All Right), Gyllenhaal released a brief statement concerning the series as he looks to shepherd the project toward that all-important green light.
“Riva and I founded Nine Stories to push creative limits, and have found a wonderful partner in A&E with this fascinating series,” Gyllenhaal stated. “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.”
For the inaugural season, the non-fiction project would center on Jim Jones and his own cult, The Peoples Temple of the Disciples of Christ. In amassing a congregation of followers, Jones and his self-professed disciples descended on Guyana to build the by-now infamous Jonestown commune, where over 900 people were killed by suspected cyanide poisoning in 1978, all orchestrated by Jones. Dark material, no doubt, though with the help of Riva Marker we’re confident that Gyllenhaal’s pitch can get the wheels in motion.
Marking the actor’s first venture into television producing, Jake Gyllenhaal was last seen in the ring for boxing drama Southpaw, and is currently involved in one of two Boston marathon pictures in development, Stronger.