Jaume Collet-Serra Teams With ‘Zero Dark Thirty’ Scribe for ‘Waco’ Siege Movie
Jaume Collet-Serra makes some damn enjoyable thrillers, from his directorial debut (the totally wackadoo horror flick Orphan) to his action collaborations with Liam Neeson and last year’s awesome shark movie The Shallows, the director has consistently delivered films that are entertaining and look great — though none have dealt in particularly serious subject matter. That’s about to change with Waco, an upcoming film from Zero Dark Thirty scribe Mark Boal that centers on the famous 1993 standoff in Texas between the FBI and David Koresh’s Brand Davidians.
Deadline reports that Collet-Serra has signed on to helm Waco, based on a screenplay by Boal and Kubo and the Two Strings writer Marc Haimes. Boal’s Page 1 banner is producing the film with Annapurna, the studio behind Zero Dark Thirty and Kathryn Bigelow’s upcoming historical riot drama Detroit — both scripted by Boal.
The screenwriter and producer says they hope to begin production this year on Waco, which follows the rise of David Koresh’s Branch Davidians, a group that splintered off from the Seventh-Day Adventist church and took up residence at a compound in Texas. The film will also center on the FBI agents tasked with bringing down the group, which the Justice Department considered to be a dangerous cult suspected of harboring deadly firearms.
While speaking with Deadline about the project, Boal, a former journalist-turned-screenwriter, described Waco as relevant to our current political climate under the Trump administration, adding:
Waco was a turning point in history in the battle between the FBI and the far right in America, It is a collision between a militant faction, the Second Amendment and the right to religious freedom. Many said this cult was not bothering anyone; this is about what the FBI and Justice Department perceived as a threat, and why and how the FBI came in and crushed it.
He went on to praise Collet-Serra as the perfect director for the job based on his ability to craft engaging mainstream material with “a high level of artistic ambition.” Boal says Waco “is an opportunity to combine those elements in telling a story that started in a small Texas town and reached up to the highest levels of government.”
In addition to Waco, Boal contributed his taped conversations with former Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl to the second season of the hit podcast Serial. He also scripted Triple Frontier, the upcoming thriller from A Most Violent Year director J.C. Chandor that was recently dumped by Paramount. Collet-Serra’s next film is The Commuter, another Liam Neeson actioner set to hit theaters in 2018.