Melissa Benoist and Julia Garner, have joined the cast of “Waco,” a six-part event series based on the gripping true story of the 51-day standoff that began with an ATF raid of a religious sect in Waco, Texas and resulted in a deadly fire. The series is currently in production in Santa Fe, NM. “Waco” will air on Paramount Network, television’s new premium entertainment brand launching in January 2018.
“Waco” will reveal the untold story exploring the true life details leading up to and chronicling the 1993 standoff between the FBI, ATF and David Koresh’s spiritual sect, The Branch Davidians. Told from several perspectives of those most intimately involved in both sides of the conflict, this story has never been shared on television before – and is surprising in its stark contrast to the media narrative at the time and what is remembered of Waco almost 25 years later.
Melissa Benoist will portray Rachel Koresh, the legal wife of Branch Davidian leader David Koresh and considered the matriarch of Mount Carmel.
Melissa Benoist stars in the title role in the CW series “Supergirl” which is currently airing its second season. Benoist will next star in the Jason Blum and Brian Grazer produced Universal Studios film “Lowriders” which takes place in the world of lowrider cars and street tagging in East Los Angeles. Directed by Ricardo de Montreuil, “Lowriders” premiered at the 2016 Los Angeles Film Festival, and will be released in the U.S. on May 12, 2017.” Benoist recently wrapped production on the feature film “Sun Dogs,” opposite Michael Angarano, Allison Janney, and Ed O’Neill. She was last seen in a pivotal role in Peter Berg’s “Patriots Day.”
Julia Garner joins as Michelle Jones, the younger sister of David Koresh’s wife Rachel, whom also had a child with Koresh.
Garner has quickly established herself as one of the industry’s most exciting and versatile young actresses. She recently completed production as a series regular on the upcoming Netflix drama “Ozark.” Garner will next be seen on the big screen in Liz Garcia’s second feature film, “One Percent More Humid,” which will have its world premiere at the 2017 Tribeca Film Festival. Garner received critical recognition for her performance as a pregnant teenager in Paul Weitz’s “Grandma” opposite Lily Tomlin.”
Both women are represented by Anonymous Content and UTA.
Benoist and Garner join an impressive roster for WACO including Michael Shannon, Taylor Kitsch, John Leguizamo, Andrea Riseborough, Rory Culkin, Paul Sparks and Shea Whigham.
“Waco” is written by John Erick Dowdle and Drew Dowdle (“No Escape”). Four episodes will be directed by John Erick Dowdle with two directed by Dennie Gordon.
Shannon, Kitsch, the Dowdle brothers and Salvatore Stabile are executive producers of the series. Ted Gold, Senior Vice President, Scripted Original Series and Lauren Ruggiero, Vice President, Scripted Programming, oversee the project for Paramount Network.